Rangers speculation

Ibrox board has “no interest” in selling: Bennett

No sale: John Bennett

Key investors at Rangers have “no interest” in selling the club, according to vice-chairman John Bennett.

Addressing recent takeover speculation, and in particular American company KRF Capital’s link with the club, Bennett indicated there is no appetite within the boardroom to facilitate any sale.

Former Ibrox chairman Paul Murray has been helping the US firm, which is headed by businesswoman Kyle Fox, with a controversial bid to buy the Glasgow giants.

Last week Murray claimed shareholders were keen to see the deal, which would lead to KRF Capital part-owning Rangers, go ahead.

However, Bennett has expressed his “surprise” at this, saying: “It’s not unusual for this football club to be approached by potential investors.

“Some of those come to fruition, some of those haven’t come to fruition. Stuart Gibson came to us and that worked for both parties, John Halstead, that worked for both parties.

“Both are supportive investors in this club and both in the boardroom and outside the boardroom, we have terrifically supportive investors.

“Just look at the facts. They went to the well time and time again to invest major investment on the pitch and major investment off the pitch.

“There has been speculation about the American group in particular recently – one of a number of groups who have come to talk to us and I believe that will continue to happen.

“The bit that surprised me, when I was in Amsterdam, was there was some talk – the noise levels about potential sellers within the boardroom.

“I know Douglas Park as well as anyone can know Douglas Park, I consider him a friend as well as the chairman. Douglas isn’t a seller, I’m not a seller. I’ve recently increased my position above 5%.”

Speaking to Rangers TV, Bennett added: “When the said American group did approach us, I actually took that as an opportunity to sound out most of our big investors to say: ‘Look, where are you on this? What do you think of this?’

“They rightly said not only is there no harm in listening, and we do listen, we politely listen to a number of proposals, and that will happen again I’m sure.

“It’s the right thing to do, from a fiduciary point of view, we gave quite a lot of time to that situation. We listened.

“But what was very interesting from John Halstead to Julian Wolhardt, absolutely no interest in selling.”

Fox, who has worked in London and New York with companies such as Lloyds Banking Group, Deutsche Bank and Duff & Phelps, offered to buy 75% of Rangers at 25p per share, valuing the club at £108m, then returned with a second offer to take up a 25% stake.

The bid saw Rangers launch a legal action against Fox over unauthorised approaches to potential investors on behalf of its present owners.

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