FF: Takeover Talk

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This weeks in-depth look focuses on the topic on everyone’s lips: takoever. The storm erupted with the pull out of DIC, and concluded with the arrival of Gillett and Hicks, but what did the forumites make of it?

My defence of Moores (GBH)

David Moores does not visit TIA or the myriad of Liverpool websites that exist.
David Moores goes to every Liverpool game, home and away when his health allows it. He has done so for many years and has some great stories to tell.
David Moores has given his life to Liverpool FC and has given a lot of his money too.
David Moores has given a lot of his money to charity.
David Moores appointed Rafa Benitez.
David Moores pursuaded Steven Gerrard to stay at Liverpool.
David Moores could have walked away years ago when a lot of no marks were questioning him.
David Moores now has the opportunity to “cash in” on his previous investments but will only do it when he feels 100% confident it is right for the club.

DIC the self-proclaimed “Liverpool Supporters” have shown their true colours by walking away as soon as they faced real competition. Do you really want these people to be in control of your club. Are their colours really red? How would they feel if they were bidding for a player that Rafa wanted and faced competition from Chelsea? Would they sulk and walk away?

George Gillett on the other hand is a business man who clearly means business. You will hear a lot of rumours about bancruptcy etc where our George is concerned and you will also hear that he favours a groundshare with the blue noses but who actually put those rumours about? The same manc bookie who predicted that Thierry Henry was on the verge of a move to us or one of the DIC ‘reds’?

Have you ever thought that whilst DIC were flattering us by scrutinising our accounts that the wealthy Mr Moores might also have been weighing them up too? Perhaps he was testing their mettle when he and his colleagues decided to make them wait for a few days?

Perhaps he won’t sell until he knows that we are in safe hands?

Gimme5 replied:

Don’t think toys out of pram is right – DIC had a period of exclusitivity and thought they were the preferred bidder having heard the Gillett’s due diligence process dimissed by us.

Then suddenly we are interested and that must have been a kick in the teeth to the honourable traditions of the UAE Sheikh. I have been an ardent Moores fan and defended him to the hilt whilst forumites have attacked him on these boards as I always bought into the idea he wants what is best for this club and won’t sell us down the river.

All I want to know is what is Gillett bringing to the table other than an extra £500 per share? ‘Trust us’ sentiments from Pary after the PR drive to get us to believe DIC were the perfect fit to us is hardly appeasing the fans as Gillett was a trouble maker a week ago.

What has changed? How it looks is that Moores tried to squeeze DIC and has now got egg on his face. Shame as his tenure to date has been honourable and the guy has exuded class – but if his legacy is to sell us to a man who’s personal wealth is dwarfed by his bid then history will erase the good times with the man.

Red scoop wrote:

Fact is, Moores hasn’t actually done anything wrong. Who did DIC make their announcement of withdrawal to? Was it the Dubai Evening News? The Liverpool Echo? No, it was to the Stock Exchange. Why? Because they are bound by a set of strict rules that govern every aspect of the takeover of a listed company and the announcement of a withdrawal of bid must be made in a certain way.

And, as DIC are bound by certain rules, so are Liverpool. When a rival bid is made to DIC’s then the Board must, legally (and in order to protect the interests of ALL shareholders) provide access to the accounts in order that due dilligence may be observed. This is a legal neccessity.

At the Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday night we understand from an article on icLiverpool, wednesday, that DIC did not provide the paperwork for the Board to actually work from. Gillett however, had tabled his bid, formally. DIC had not. There was NO formal bid from DIC as they did not present the paperwork.. We then understand from Parry (Liverpool Echo) that DIC were infuriated that LFC were even looking at Gillett’s bid and gave Moores twelve hours to sell to them.

Parry stated “The Chairman believed that Liverpool FC, on such a crucial decision, could not be bullied in that way” and he did not respond within 12 hours as DIC had not, still, presented a formal bid in writing. Moores had nothing to work from and was certainly not prepared to make a formal statement to the Stock Exchange regarding the sale of the club when the formal bid had not been received. He would have been on very dubious ground legally and left himself open to all manor of problems if the formal bid, when it arrived, did not contain all that had been promised.

As Moores didn’t give ground on the 12 hour deadline, DIC pulled the plug. Moores has acted absolutely in accordance with the law. He could not have done anythingother than that which he did.

As a footnote, I’m getting really hacked off with the number of idiots and downright miserable moaning gits in this forum. The facts are all out there for you to find. But no, the majority just want to call Moores and Parry a pair of money grabbing tits and then wallow in their spiteful ignorance. And you know what? It’s coz Moores and Parry already have money and power while these moaning bloody herberts in here don’t.

Many of you really make me sick – but well done to GBH for defending someone who has merely acted within the letter of the law and done, as he always does, his very best for this club and a group of supporters who frankly don’t deserve him.

Alimkx wrote:

GBH for all the plus pionts you put in for mr Moores , there are alot of minus points too .
1.how many years since we won the title ?
2. how long does investment in a club take ( and pls dont tell me we are looking for the perfect buyer since there is no such thing )
3. we are really behind the top 3 financialy as we have yet to move on the terms of the stadium and investment .
4.we lack cutting edge in transfer market , its always the few extra milions that makes us loose the players we really need to challenge .
5.how we were desperate enough to try and entertain a deal from curropt thai president ?
6.the Dic matter , from every angle you look at it is a real bad business blow .from business point of view it looks bad for us , i mean think of it this way , we go through with negotiations for a month . the board anounce a deal is due very soon ( why do it when you are still not sure ) , the board anounce despite the intrest from Mr Gillet the Dic deal is still on course , then they tell us that they are taking the Gillet offer seriously?

this is bad business AND media handling to me , which has the fans in uproar. i mean if they did not get all those little udates from the board then ok but when board anounces that the deal is almost done they cant do a total uturn fast without ant explanation ?

Youknowitmakessense:

Why have people got it into their heads DIC would have been a bottomless pit? Parry and DIC explained the bid was based on a sound business model for the long term future. This does not mean “I’ll stick my hands in my pocket cause Rafa wants to sign six £30m players ”

It means a cash investment would have been made in the first instance for signings. (This would more likely than not be borrowed against the business). After that there would have been a financial forecast of how much we would make via merchandising, sponsorship and ticket sales which would be used for transfers and player wages (as well as running the club obviously).

DIC is the investment arm of Dubai Holding which exists to make money for its shareholders, with a percentage of finances eventually going to the state. I seriously doubt patience would have been given to Rafa if a substantial amount of funding was given at the start of the venture ad things went wrong. Unlike Abramovich these are real business men who do not tolerate failure and will not pump finances into ailing businesses without seeing a return for their investment.

Of course the same goes for Gillet and Hicks. They are both successful business men. If they borrow against the strength of their portfolio then patience will also be low, if however they use their personal wealth to finance the deal and borrow against the forecasted ticket sales and merchandise, they should have more time to build as they will not have pressure from parent company shareholders.

Both men’s businesses have taken hits over the years, but Hicks is someone who has invested in communities and development out of pride and morals, not out of making a quick $. Who knows what will happen, I can easily see no takeover being completed and us continuing to search for an investor. I certainly feel we need to wise up and become more professional.

We do need someone with marketing and strong business sense and talent to put the right infrastructure in place which would breed success.

LFC.Eddie wrote:

To all of you out there wanting to defend Moores or Gillett or DIC, my take is relatively simple. A company the size of LFC can always build momentum on raising funds some other ways, rather than selling it to the highest bidder. As a businessman who has sold a few companies I will try to give my 2cents worth in this subject.

Kudos to you GBH for trying to show the lot that Moores commitment to the club and standing behind the chairman. But, have you put any thought into why must he sell the club? Is this the best way to lead the club and make sure we can compete with the others? Has he or even Parry done enough to bring the club to the level where it can be synonymous to clubs like Real or Manuer (put the trophies aside, we are talking about money here. In terms of success, only Real can be seen as close competitor to us, in England we are the best)?

My point of view in selling a company is to make money and bail out because it is:
1. Getting too difficult for me to manage.
2. I am not good enough to bring the company further.
3. I just want out as I got other more interesting thing to do.
4. Make rock solid cash in my bank.

I would say that Moores might think that he is not good enough to bring the club to the next level, which is the option 2. If that is the case, he has another way of doing this, rather than selling the club outright, like what he is trying to do today. He could raise funds by diluting his shares. IPO the team, and make it a PLC, so we can be traded in the market. Of course this can be proven risky. The only thing that can make sure being a PLC will not make the matter worst is to have a great CEO to manage the company. So, if Moores are so great and Parry is so damn smart, why not this option?

Secondly, with brand like LFC, we can make fortune out of it, selling the brands in the market is the best way to make money. Mind you, LFC and Manuer are the only 2 big clubs that the rest of the world (UK aside), recognise. Why not build on the brand, appoint partners around the world, sell merchandise other than Jerseys and scarf.

There are so many ways to raise funds, and selling the club isn’t the last resort, it is an easy way out. That much I can tell you guys. Unfortunately some of you would say, why don’t I buy the club or I am not the CEO of the club. Well, to answer you guys these 2 questions. If I do have the hard cash in hand (unlike Gillett, who will get some loans from some banks to fund this purchase), I will buy it, I would love to buy it, and it is my dream to own LFC. Unfortunately I am no Bill Gates. Second part, I was not appointed, and I am not English and probably would not be offered the job as I am not in the sports management field, if I was to be offered the CEO job, I will take it without a blink of an eye.

So having said all those, I hope the board comes to their senses and think of other options rather than selling the club to people who is rich yet arrogant like DIC, or to someone who doesn’t even know what LFC stands for, recommending ground sharing with our most bitter rival!

Red Scoop wrote:

Why did the Board allow Gillett permission to look at the books even after a deal had been agreed in principal with DIC? Well, as I have previously pointed out – they had to BY LAW.

The stock exchange rules on the purchase of a listed company are cast in stone – the SHAREHOLDERS’ interests must be protected. Moores owns 51% of the shares, the folk who own the remaining 49% of them, and there are many many of them who hold tiny shareholdings together with a few like Morgan with more substantial holdings, are protected by the law to ensure that they get the best deal for their shares – this means the Board must give access to the accounts and provide the same level of information to any bidder.

Gillett’s first offer was rejected as unsuitable. There were mumblings about him not having the financial clout to see things through and that he wanted to ground share with the Blues. The Board considered his bid unsuitable and they were right to do so. That’s why DIC was the prefferred bidder – DIC ticked all the right boxes.

Parry was therefore right to appear upbeat and to praise the DIC bid. It was the best offer on the table at that time and appeared to safeguard LFC’s future by ticking all the right boxes.

Gillett, however, appears to have taken the reasons for his original bid rejection on board and come back with a revised bid which includes both an even wealthier partner and personal financial underwriting guarantees for the a new stadium which will not be shared. We are only just learning now about Tom Hicks’ involvement but you can be assured that the Board were fully aware of it when Gillett came back with his new offer.

Now, all of a sudden, the Gillett / Hicks bid has all the finances available and they’re making all the right noises. You also have the experience of not one, but two, experts in running sports teams and in addition Hicks seems to be something of a genius when it comes to delivering new stadia (look into that and you’ll see I’m right).

The Gillett / Hicks bid is now, in the eyes of the board, different from the DIC bid but equally attractive in it’s own ways. The Board are legally bound to consider this bid. Cue DIC throwing the rattle from the pram. And while DIC ticked all the right boxes it’s not inconceivable to me that Gillett / Hicks have ticked all those and a fair few more boxes on top.

Personally, I don’t think that footy will ever be seen by the US public at large as a major sport but consider this… we now have the prospect of a potential fan base throughout the whole of the USA and Canada (Hicks teams are all seemingly Texas based while Gillett’s are in Canada). The merchandising potential could be immense if *football* does take off in a big way in North America.

Beckham’s self proclaimed mission to make football a huge sport over there might just be doing LFC a massive favour. Who’d a thunked it?

Gimme5 wrote;

The PR operation is in full swing now I see, Rafa will be getting £100 to £150m to buy new players. Those nasty former fans DIC are now buying one of our rivals – Arsenal.

DIC are baffled by Moores decision and the debt is slightly more negative than my old mate Geebs would have us believe as Gillett and Hick’s will inevitably be at a higher rate than DIC would obtain.

All I am interested now is to see what change this will bring – if the cash for players is true then Rafa will be a happy man and that in turn should make us happier. The pressure will be on him though as for this kind of outlay surely the new owners will be expecting immediate success.

I am still baffled by this all but whoever took the reins would create a period of uncertainty and whether we like it or not as fans we have no option but to trust David Moores – that said I cannot see him being around once Hicks and Gillett take the reins as he would have been under DIC. Maybe thats not such a bad thing when you recall how Ken Bates was marginalised after the Russian mafia took control in Chavscow and eventually left under a cloud – perhaps Moores felt it was best if he went and let the new owners take the reins so he could slip off quietly to enjoy his £88m.

Grenfell wrote:

I’m delighted they are on board, & i think they will be better than DIC. They seem to be delighted that they have brought into this club, and called it a privialge to have done so and be part of this football club and that to me speaks volumes about them, and they did it with their own money rather than loans. they said if money is required to aquire new players then thats fine and also that they share Rafa’s ideas for sucess and that they will build towards that and accelerate the process. they said that winning and the clubs heirtage is more important to them than making money! but also the character of the two men was striking, they seemed more like excited football fans who had just brought the worlds most expensive season tickets! I’m very excited for the future and not worried about the clubs future.

And the final word to the big two:

Gimme5 and GBH wrote:

Gimme5:

I think David Moores did a great job throughout his tenure but even the new owners conceded that the DIC bid was very good and they would make very honourable and good owners.

Add to this the fact we, as fans were spoonfed that DIC were the best partners and suddenly they weren’t.

Why? Cos Gillett and Hicks offered more cash and Moores came under pressure from smaller shareholders to review their bid.

If Moores was so proud of this decision why was he unavailable for comment?

I have no doubt Moores had the best interests of the club at heart but his preferred bidders were not the americans. Ultimately he caved into the smaller shareholders demanding the bigger price – nothing better on offer than DIC just more cash for them plus even with his new partner DIC’s reserves still dwarf the americans. After the way DIC were messed about at the 11th hour they withdrew and Moores had no choice but to sell up to the americans as he knew he could not fund the new stadium.

So before you jump into an apology owed to David Moores nonsense thread lets actually win something of note under the yanks – oh and that starts next season. We can also wait until we are all sat comfortably in the new stadium but thats a long way off yet.

Yes I saw the press conference and what a nice little PR stunt that was – not owners but custodians of our heritage so I was amused when 2 minutes later Gillett referred to himself as the new owner. Was also very sympathetic towards Rick Parry (a great CEO – who has often had to take flack due to the indecisiveness of David Moores who was selling then was not selling) when his eyes were rolling skywards as the americans blustered on about franchise, Liverpool reds and gave the brief synopsis of our history. Gillett denies he mooted the groundshare then later says ‘Rick says to me he would resign if we were to share with Everton‘ – how did that conversation arise then? Did Rick pre-empt this or was Gillett briefed to distance himself from his original plan? PR spin however you look at it.

The work starts now and we have a long way to go and some ordeals to endure before we can say Mr Moores made the right decision. I hope he has as I always admired the work he has done and the way he has conducted himself – a proper chairman. He will hurt more than anyone if this were to go tits up and as a fan I would never want this to happen but I aint going to kid myself that its all happily ever after.

It is exciting that Rafa (when the yanks pronounced his name it sounded like a star wars character) will get more cash but lets see how this all pans out before we make snap judgements about this particular decision. I eagerly await the hammering from some but I stand by my opinions.

GBH countered:

I’ll hammer you because you don’t know what you are talking about.

When Gillett first analysed the potential purchase of our club he wanted a ground share with Everton because he couldn’t afford the cost of the stadium on top of the cost of the club.

DIC were prepared to borrow money to finance the whole package with a business plan that included the sale of Liverpool in year 7. In effect they would cash-in on our club as soon as its value had grown. This caused disquiet in the boardroom as shareholders and fans would revolt at the thought of LFC becoming a ‘plaything’ to middle eastern businessmen.

In the mean time George had been sent packing with the clear message that his bid was preferred but that groundshare was a major stumbling block. He went to a man whom he knew would look at the potential of developing stadia in europe and within two weeks the deal was done.

Hicks and Gillett have plans (particularly Hicks) to use Liverpool as a benchmark for future european sporting and stadium developments and for that reason they will have to make sure it is a resounding success. Opportunities will soon arise in Italy for example and the new Anfield will be something special.

So Moores had two choices:

1. Sell to the wealthy DIC group in the knowledge that they would borrow money to ‘grow’ the club in the middle east and then sell it.
2. Sell to the Americans who initially wanted to groundshare but then restructured their plan as along term investment model.

The sceptics will say that Moores took the bigger money but I am not one of them. I say that he took the buyer that he originally wanted and that that buyer wanted the club so much that he didn’t give up, valued our club higher than his competitor and found the right solution to get the deal done.

Moores played hardball and ensured we got a debt-free deal with long term ambitions. An extra £8M to him is fcuk all mate.

Compiled by Geebo!

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