Hicks bids to purchase interest in Liverpool

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/F/Football.jpg' class='caption'> Tom Hicks is close to adding England's Liverpool to his list of sports holdings.

Updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Tom Hicks, owner of the Dallas Stars ice hockey team and the Texas Rangers baseball club, is close to adding England's Liverpool to his list of sports holdings. Hicks has agreed to join George Gillett Jr., owner of the Montreal Canadiens ice hockey club, in a bid to purchase the five-time European champion, a person familiar with the negotiations said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. The decision by Hicks to join Gillette's bid was first reported by The Dallas Morning News on its website Thursday. Hicks did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Hicks would have a 50 percent stake in the group. Gillette's offer seemed imminent after a Dubai-based consortium pulled out of a proposed 450-million-pound offer. Dubai International Capital, owned by the ruler of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, called off negotiations after hearing that the board of directors was considering a bid from Gillett. Liverpool has won a record 18 English league titles and is planning to build a 60,000-seat stadium. The club has been looking for a buyer to help fund construction of a new stadium and provide the financial power to compete with Chelsea and Manchester United in the transfer market. If the Hicks-Gillett bid succeeds, the group would become the third American owner of a Premier League team. Malcolm Glazer owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers American football club and Manchester United, and Randy Lerner, owner of the Cleveland Browns pro gridiron side, took over Aston Villa in September. Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra made a bid for Liverpool three years ago. The Liverpool board also had talks with another American billionaire, Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Revolution soccer team and the New England Patriots American football club.

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