Friday, October 15, 2010

Liverpool Sale to NESV Should Occur Today - Hicks & Gillett TRO Withdrawn

Boarded up houses are seen on a road leading to the Kop of Liverpool football club in Liverpool, northern England, October 14, 2010. Liverpool's takeover saga resumed in London's High Court on Thursday, with the club's board seeking to overcome a restraining order on an agreed sale just as rival bidder Peter Lim announced he was pulling out. A High Court ruling on Wednesday paved the way for Liverpool to be sold for 300 million pounds ($479.8 million) to New England Sports Ventures (NESV) before owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks obtained a temporary block in a Texas district court. REUTERS/Darren Staples  (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER BUSINESS)

UPDATE - 8:05 am Central Time, Friday October 15, 2010:

At this point, it looks like the sale of Liverpool FC to John Henry and NESV will be finalized today.

Expect Tom Hicks and George Gillett to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages for breach of contract and other claims. Don't be surprised if this lawsuit is filed in the United States.


Early reports from Associated Press this morning indicate that when the 160th Judicial District Court convenes in Dallas County, Texas at 7:00 this morning, the attorneys for the plaintiffs (fronts for Tom Hicks and George Gillett) will move to have the temporary restraining order preventing the sale of Liverpool to NESV withdrawn.

While that removes the Texas legal hurdle, it does not necessarily mean that the intended sale to NESV will move forward as planned. This morning we're starting to hear rumblings that Tom Hicks has either sold his shares to Mills Financial, a US hedge fund, or is in talks to sell his shares to Mills Financial. This presents the prospect of Mills Financial stepping in and paying off the team's debt to the Royal Bank of Scotland before the sale to NESV can be finalized. As to what this means to the deal with NESV, worst case scenario is that the sale could be scuttled. We'll see what happens and hope these matters are resolved before this weekend's derby.

Follow Josh Imhoff on Twitter - he'll be at the Dallas County Courthouse today.

Here's a link to Sky's ongoing coverage of the Liverpool situation.

UPDATE - 7:30am Central Time

No word that the Judge has approved the motion to withdraw the TRO, but that should only be a matter of time.

Meanwhile, reports out of England indicate that Mills Financial's efforts to approach the EPL for the fit and proper determination have been rebuffed by the league, which will only deal with the legal board of directors for Liverpool.

My prediction, the sale to NESV will take place today, but Hicks and Gillett will pursue further legal options in an effort to get more money out of the club.

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