Hicks changes Liverpool tack

Tom Hicks has pulled out of a plan to allow Dubai International Capital (DIC) to take a 49% stake in Liverpool Football Club that would have valued the club at £400m (€522.2m).

Over the weekend, it seemed that a deal was emerging to let George Gillett, who bought the premiership club with Hicks for £219m last year, sell most of his half share to DIC. This would have left Hicks with 51% of the club.

However, Hicks has now said that the deal would not work because DIC would have wanted to co-manage the club. The private equity financier met with DIC in Dubai on Monday March 10. Amanda Staveley of PCP Equity Partners was acting for DIC.

During this meeting a statement was issued, saying: “Dubai International Capital confirms that it is in advanced discussions with the co-owners of LFC but that no agreement has been reached on price or shareholding percentage.”

Hicks and Gillett have the right to veto each other’s sales plans. Since buying the club, they have had disagreements, particularly over refinancing the debt raised to acquire it. DIC initially was given exclusivity before the rival bid from Hicks and Gillett emerged.

Hicks told Liverpool’s website: “DIC made it clear that if they invested in the club, they would want it to be managed by committee. It is clear to me such a committee approach would not be in the best interests of the club.”

Apparently, Hicks is speaking to other parties about a deal that would leave him with majority control.