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Other shareholders consulted on plan

Rangers directors warming to US tycoon’s latest £20m bid for club

Robert SarverRangers directors say they will discuss US tycoon Robert Sarver’s revised £20 million offer for the club with the other shareholders.

In a sign of increasing co-operation among the various factions, the board issued a statement saying the directors were “studying the revised proposal which was received last night, and are consulting with major shareholders, to understand whether the proposal is capable of being implemented.  A further announcement will be made shortly.”

Sarver has today increased his potential offer from £18m and said he would pay off the loans to other shareholders to leave the club debt-free.

The owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball franchise in Arizona said £6.5m would be made available to Rangers in immediate short-term funding by way of a secured loan to be repaid in 90 days or out of the proceeds of the placing of shares.

He says there can be no certainty that any formal offer will be made.

The board’s response just before 11am means the Three Bears consortium and South Africa based businessman Dave King will be consulted over his plans. They have been building their stakes in the Ibrox club.

But it seems unlikely that they will walk away or see much benefit in accepting an offer which is still well below the 26.5p trading price of the shares this morning which values the club at £22m.

On the other hand, this offer would solve its debt and immediate cash flow problem.

Mr Sarver, 52, is the chief executive of the $10 billion Western Alliance Bancorporation. He has already provided proof of funds to the Rangers board and with a personal fortune of $400m that is not likely to be questioned.

Speaking from Phoenix, he said: “This revised proposal hopefully helps the board deal with its short-term cashflow crunch and also addresses my desire to see the club on a solid long-term financial footing. It would also enable Rangers to repay the loans from Mike Ashley and Sandy Easdale, and free it of debt.

“I know, of course, that there are various groups of prominent fans who have been working hard for a long time to bring change to the club and they can rest assured that, if my proposal is accepted, I am committed to building a strong partnership with fans and key stakeholders to do what is best for the club.

“I look forward to receiving the response of the Rangers board.”

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