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Liverpool 'in investment talks with US group'

George Gillett (l) and Tom Hicks
Gillett (left) and Hicks have been unpopular owners at Anfield

Liverpool have received a £118.5m investment bid from private equity firm Rhone Group, according to reports.

American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are obliged to reduce the club's £237m debt with Royal Bank of Scotland by £100m by this summer.

The deal would make the New York-based group the largest shareholder with 40%, Hicks and Gillett each falling to 30%.

The Press Association report added that the bid, tabled on Saturday, has yet to be discussed at board level.

If a bid were to materialise it would be the first positive result of Anfield chief executive Christian Purslow's search for new investors ahead of the bank deadline.

606: DEBATE
Cheese

Aside from slashing the club's debt in half, the group's funds would also improve the club's credit-worthiness, which in turn would make Liverpool more attractive for further outside investment.

Hicks and Gillett took control of Liverpool in February 2007, each taking a 50% stake.

However, their reign has proven unpopular with Reds fans, with the debt burden they have placed on the club and the delayed construction of the proposed new stadium at Stanley Park coming in for particular criticism.

Founded in 1996, the Rhone Group is owned and managed by financiers Robert Agostinelli and Steven Langman.

The company describes itself as "one of the world's leading mid-market private equity firms", and has its headquarters in New York with other offices in London and Paris.



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see also
Lille 1-0 Liverpool
11 Mar 10 |  Europe
Wigan 1-0 Liverpool
08 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Liverpool form a blip - Gillett
20 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez is one of the best - Gillett
20 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool agrees bank debt deal
27 Jul 09 |  Business
Gillett hits back at Hicks in row
17 Apr 08 |  Liverpool
Hicks plans long stay at Anfield
27 Jan 08 |  Liverpool
Park's conservatory is restored
22 Jan 09 |  Merseyside
Park redevelopment begins
12 Nov 07 |  England


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