Business

Liverpool: It could be all over

BBC business editor Robert Peston on the Liverpool takeover

Royal Bank of Scotland tells me that if it's true that Mill has taken the Hicks/Gillett shares and if Mill repays the £200m long-term debt owed by Liverpool FC (plus penalty fees) to RBS and Wachovia, then Mill is in the driving seat.

Once the debt is repaid, RBS's power ends.

At that point, the deal with New England Sports Ventures collapses.

Liverpool would have a new owner, Mill. And Mill will do with Liverpool what it pleases.

Update 1156: RBS feels its hands would be tied if £200m were to turn up in its accounts from Mill Financial.

At that point, its ability to determine the fate of Liverpool FC would be over.

What I cannot ascertain is what Mill would then do with Liverpool.

Is it buying to hold or buying to sell? And would there be any continuing relationship with Tom Hicks?

As and when I get answers, you will be the second to know.

Update, 1209: Liverpool's directors are due back in court at 1400, in an attempt - I am told - to somehow get around the Texas injunction on the sale to NESV.

So the race is on to see who can get the £200m into RBS's coffers faster - NESV or Mill?

After months of fearing they'd never get their money back, RBS must be laughing all the way to the...

Update, 1248:

As I understand it, Liverpool's directors will try to get the UK courts to injunct Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett, to prevent them frustrating the sale to NESV via the Texas courts.

Sources close to Mr Hicks are confident that Liverpool's lawyers will not succeed.

Also, bankers at RBS are beginning to wonder whether the money from Mill Financial will actually turn up.

"It could have arrived any time in the past few months, so I see no reason why it should arrive today", said one.

I fear Liverpool will be stuck in limbo for some time yet.‬‪

You can keep up with the latest from business editor Robert Peston by visiting his blog on the BBC News website.

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