Club 1872 offer
King agrees to sell Rangers stake to fans group
Offer: Dave King (pic: SNS Group)
Rangers supporters are set to become the largest shareholders at Ibrox after former chairman Dave King agreed to sell his major stake to a fans group.
The South Africa-based businessman is to sell his 20.37% holding to Club 1872 in a deal which sees the group’s shareholding exceed the 25% plus one share mark that gives it the power to veto major boardroom deals.
Club 1872 is currently the sixth largest stakeholder at Rangers with a 4.95% share and will take a 25.32% share if they can complete the deal.
King claims the deal he has struck will personally cost him over £2m.
He owns 66.7 million shares, valuing his holding at 50p per share.
However, he has agreed a price of 23.7p per share for the deal over three years or just 20p per share if Club 1872 attract the 20,000 members they require in time to complete it before December 2021.
At 20p per share, King’s holding has a value of £13.3m.
King, stepped down from the board in March after leading a boardroom coup in 2015, though held onto his stake in RIFC.
He said: “I haven’t actually done the calculations, but I would guess it’s a loss of around £2.3 million.
“I’ve invested over £40m in the club in total through the years but with the second investment (in 2015), I was clear from day one – and in my farewell speech at the last AGM – that I reluctantly got involved again.
“But it was very clear at the time that the local Scottish contingent of business people were not able to put together sufficient resources to take control of the club and restore it to where we wanted it to be.
“I’m really hoping the supporters do get together and understand this is a genuine once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start to take ownership and be the biggest influencer in the club going forward – Dave King
“So I very reluctantly got involved but from my perspective it gives me satisfaction to have been associated with the club through the difficult times we have had and see it competing for Scottish titles and competing in Europe again.
“Having worked with Club 1872, I feel I have an opportunity now to deliver a level of influence to supporters going forward. If I take a small financial knock of a couple of million pounds, I’m happy that’s just a further contribution to the restoration of the club.
“My all-in cost is 23.7p per share and I am willing to put a pricing structure in place that accommodates 20p as the initial price to be consistent with the present share issue.
“And, at Club 1872’s request, I have included an option for Club 1872 to buy all of the shares at 20p which would result in a loss to me. In my view the shares are presently worth in excess of 50p if properly valued.”
He added: “I’m really hoping the supporters do get together and understand this is a genuine once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start to take ownership and be the biggest influencer in the club going forward.
“I have agreed therefore to transfer my shares to Club 1872 at my historical cash cost of acquisition (which includes professional fees) and to allow Club 1872 a period of three years to build up the supporter backing that will be necessary to achieve this.”
Prior to his return to Ibrox five years ago, King initially served on the Rangers board during Sir David Murray’s time in charge.
Arguably the most significant thing which King did during five years as chairman was appoint Steven Gerrard as manager.
The former Liverpool captain has steered his team to the summit of the Premiership, 11 points clear of champions Celtic, and has also enjoyed successful on the European front in the Europa League, reaching the knockout stages last season.