Dubai group in Liverpool takeover bid

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Liverpool said on Monday it is in "exclusive negotiations'' with a Dubai-based consortium for a possible takeover of the storied soccer club.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:38 IST
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Liverpool said on Monday it is in "exclusive negotiations'' with a Dubai-based consortium for a possible takeover of the storied soccer club. If the deal with Dubai International Capital goes through, Liverpool will become the seventh Premier League club under foreign ownership. The consortium, led by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is offering a reported 450 million pounds for the five-time European and 18-time English champions. "Liverpool Football Club today confirms it has entered into a period of exclusive negotiations with Dubai International Capital (DIC) about a possible investment in the club,'' the club said in a statement. "No deal has yet been agreed and the detail of any transaction, which may or may or may not include a formal offer by DIC for Liverpool Football Club, is still to be confirmed.'' Potential investor DIC is the international investment arm of Dubai Holding, which owns and manages a number of companies. It has been given permission to examine the club's financial accounts before submitting a formal offer, probably later this month. "This is the latest step on the road of finding the long-term investment that the club needs,'' Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry said. "DIC is a potential investor with the resources and philosophy we believe could make them an ideal partner.'' Sheik Mohammed is the ruler of Dubai, prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and the owner of Godolphin, one of the world's largest horse-racing stables. DIC recently bought Madame Tussauds wax museum in London and the Travelodge hotel chain. "Liverpool's investment requirements are well publicized. We hope we can agree a deal that will provide us with the opportunity to fund its needs both on and off the pitch,'' DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari said in a statement. Other buyers Liverpool has also been linked with other possible buyers, notably George Gillett, owner of the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL. Six of the Premier League's 20 clubs are currently owned by foreigners - Chelsea, Manchester United, Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Fulham and West Ham. Russian oil billionaire Roman Abramovich owns Chelsea, while American businessman Malcolm Glazer - owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL team - owns Manchester United. Another American, Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner, took control of Aston Villa this season. Harrods' Egyptian owner, Mohamed Al Fayed, bought Fulham nine years ago. Russian businessman Alexandre Gaydamak took control of Portsmouth in July, while Icelandic Football Association president Eggert Magnusson bought West Ham last week.(AP)

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