Liverpool co-owner Hicks says he discussed selling part of club to Dubai consortium | sports | Hindustan Times
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Liverpool co-owner Hicks says he discussed selling part of club to Dubai consortium

The BBC report said there had been further negotiations with DIC in the past week but did not elaborate.

sports Updated: Jan 27, 2008 17:08 IST

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks said he discussed selling part of the Premier League club to a Dubai-based group.

The Texan talked with Dubai International Capital _ which lost out to Hicks and co-owner George Gillett Jr. in last March's takeover _ about funding Liverpool's new stadium, which is expected to cost 400 million pounds (US$807 million; euro562 million). "I did talk to them once about a 10 to 15 percent participation but that was months ago, and we gave them a valuation," Hicks told the British Broadcasting Corp. radio in an interview broadcast Sunday. "They thought the valuation was too high so we've had no conversations of substance since then.

"That would have been a minority investor and we would have used that capital to help build the new stadium, but we'll find other ways to capitalize the new stadium here in a couple of years. Right now we've got the capital."

The BBC report said there had been further negotiations with DIC in the past week but did not elaborate.

Despite mounting protests by fans against American ownership, Hicks said he was committed long-term to Liverpool and dismissed claims he plans to offload the club.

"Absolutely not ... that was never a serious possibility and it certainly isn't today," Hicks said. "I can't think of a price I'd want to have any interest in selling at all."

To help fund Anfield's replacement in nearby Stanley Park and refinance the loan used to purchase the Reds, Hicks and Gillett completed a 350-million-pound (US$682 million; euro470 million) refinancing package Friday.

"We're happy to get it behind us, it should have happened weeks ago," Hicks said. "We ought to line up all the lawyers and shoot them."

The package leaves the club with debt topping 105 million pounds (US$205 million; euro141 million).

The owners have contributed the bulk of the finances _ 225 million pounds (US$446 million; euro303 million) in cash, letters of credit and personal guarantees.

"I've put in a lot of money, we will put in more if we need to," Hicks said. "We're going to plan the best football stadium in the world and will get our permanent capital when we need to further down the run."

The deal was reached with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia Bank, replacing a previous financing arrangement that was due to expire next month.

The deal is expected to help Hicks and Gillett repay the money borrowed for their 218.9-million-pound (then $431 million; euro333 million) takeover of Liverpool in March 2007.