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Both Mukesh Ambani and Subroto Roy are reportedly (separately) bidding for a 51% stake in Liverpool, one of the most successful clubs in the history of English football.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd and Subroto Roy, chairman of Sahara Group are reportedly bidding for a 51% stake in Liverpool—one of the most successful clubs in the history of English football, reports PTI.
Liverpool is presently owned by American duo George Gillett and Tom Hicks, who acquired the club in February 2007. However, reported disagreements between Gillett and Hicks, and the lack of fans' support, have led to rumours that that international buyers such as Dubai International Capital would bid for the club.
The Liverpool club emerged as a takeover target for Mr Ambani, the seventh-richest man in the world, as pressure mounted on Hicks and Gillett to cut a deal to sell the club, The Times reported on Tuesday.
When contacted in New Delhi, a Reliance spokesperson denied the reports. "We are not bidding for Liverpool," he said. There was no immediate word on the issue from the Sahara Group owned by Mr Roy.
Both Mr Ambani and Mr Roy have reportedly each tendered similar bids to pay off Liverpool's £237 million debt in return for a 51% stake in the club.
However, Liverpool chief executive Christian Purslow denied any knowledge of bids by Mr Ambani and Mr Roy, but The Times reported that approaches began as early as November and that some preliminary talks had taken place.
Each deal requires that the present owners make a commitment to take no dividends or expenses out of the club for three years, to allow the entity to secure its financials.
The Americans were reportedly unpopular with the club's supporters and the hostility had increased as it had become clear that there was no money available to strengthen the team.
In April 2008, business magazine Forbes ranked Liverpool as the fourth-most valuable football team in the world, after Manchester United, Real Madrid and Arsenal.