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Sport

Canadian consortium close to buying out Liverpool FC

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-05

Syrian businessman Yahya Kirdi announced Wednesday that the Canadian-based consortium he leads is close to buying out Premier League club Liverpool FC. The statement came just hours before a similar expression of interest from a Chinese investor.

AP - A Canadian-based consortium led by a Syrian businessman said Wednesday that it is close to buying Liverpool from the club's American owners.

The statement from Yahya Kirdi, who is representing a group of investors from the Middle East and Canada, came hours before Chinese investor Kenny Huang said he is also contemplating a takeover of the Premier League club.

Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. put the club up for sale in April amid pressure from banks over the club's 237 million pounds ($374 million) of debt.

Martin Broughton, who was brought in as chairman to oversee the sale process, said he hopes a buyer can be found before the transfer window closes on August 31.

Kirdi, who is now a Canadian resident, announced that his group is in "advanced negotiations'' with Hicks and Gillett to buy them out. Agreement has been reached on all major terms including the purchase price, repayment of the existing bank debt from RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) and Wells Fargo and financing of a new stadium in Liverpool's Stanley Park,''

Kirdi's group said in a statement. "A formal purchase agreement between the parties is in the final stage of negotiation.'' Kirdi, who also oversees investments in Europe and North America, pledged to invest in the squad, which dropped from Premier League runner-up to seventh place last season, denying them a spot in this season's Champions League.

"Liverpool is a massive football club with passionate and proud fans in Merseyside and in every part of the world,'' Kirdi said. ``With additional money to improve the squad and financing in place to build the new stadium, LFC will be on a solid foundation to compete in the Premiership and in Europe for years to come.''

Kirdi could face competition from Huang, the chairman of Hong Kong-based investment company QSL Sports who issued a statement Wednesday expressing his interest in the club.

"Mr. Huang would like to emphasize that he has registered interest ininvesting in Liverpool FC but has made no formal bid,'' his Hong Kong representatives said. Huang is co-chairman of both the National Basketball League of China and the Chinese Baseball League.

While Liverpool's Premier League campaign begins against Arsenal on Aug.15, the five-time European champions host Rabotnicki on Thursday in the Europa League's third qualifying round, leading 2-0 from the first leg.

Date created : 2010-08-04

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