New buyer in frame for Liverpool
Tue 24th Aug 2010 | Clubs Ownership
Renowned deal-broker Keith Harris claims an overseas buyer is considering making an offer of between £400million and £500million for Liverpool.
The former Football League chairman, who has had a hand in the sales of Aston Villa, West Ham and Manchester City in the past, said due diligence has already been done.
Harris also said the party he was representing was not one mentioned publicly before.
"The overseas buyer we represent has completed due diligence. A huge amount of work has been done," he said.
"It is none of the groups mentioned in the press. The ball is now in our client's court to make an offer.
"I do not think the deal will be done before the transfer window closes this month but the next pressure point is October when some of the RBS loan of £237million has to be repaid.
"It may happen then. But in the present climate these things are impossible to predict."
Last week Hong Kong-based businessman Kenny Huang - whose interest was allied to the Chinese government - pulled out of the bidding process, while Syrian-Canadian Yahya Kirdi's much-publicised interest has been treated with scepticism.
Harris said history has taught him that those who went public before an agreement had been reached rarely succeeded.
"The Chinese government involvement was always a bit far-fetched," he told the London Evening Standard.
"In any takeover situation, when people resort to announcing it to the media, you have to question the seriousness of the offer.
"If the name of the prospective buyer comes out before the deal is done then probably it is never going to be done.
"Look at when Chelsea was sold in 2003. My firm was advising the club and we only knew of Roman Abramovich on the Thursday before the deal was completed the following Tuesday."
Harris worked on a bid for Liverpool two years ago for Kuwaiti Nasser Al Khorafi, whom it is claimed agreed a deal for £300million up front and another £100million based on financial performance only to pull out at the last minute.
"He just lost his appetite. No explanation was forthcoming," added Harris.
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