Rangers chairman Dave King faces contempt proceedings from Takeover Panel
The feud between Dave King and the Takeover Panel has escalated, with a decision of its hearings committee indicating that contempt proceedings have been raised against Rangers' chairman.
In December, the Court of Session ordered King to make an offer to Rangers shareholders of 20p a share.
King failed in an appeal against that decision and also failed to persuade the Takeover Panel to allow him more time to make the offer.
Now, as the panel announced it was refusing to convene its hearings committee to review that last decision, it appears King could face more serious issues.
Within the statement published today, the Panel says: "The executive went on to refer to an email of the previous day in which it had stated its intention to initiate contempt proceedings were Mr King to fail to procure the publication of an offer in accordance with the code within the time stipulated.
"It stated that, in the circumstances, it would initiate contempt proceedings in the Court of Session on 27 April 2018 if, by midnight on 26 April 2018, Mr King had failed to publish a code compliant offer.
"In the event, process in the contempt proceedings appears to have been served on Mr King in South Africa on 8 June 2018."
King had stated previously that the delay was a result of the Takeover Panel requiring funds of around £11m to be held in a UK account rather than South Africa, where he is resident.
But the Takeover Panel suggests there was a lack of clarity over his attempts to move the funds.
"On 11 April 2018 the (Takeover Panel) Executive had suggested to Mr King that he instruct Investec to open a UK sterling account on Laird's behalf with a view to Investec providing the necessary cash confirmation," the statement adds.
Laird is a company owned by a trust of which King and his family are the beneficiaries.
The statement continues: "As regards Mr King's offer to instruct Investec if his request for an extension were granted, the Executive pointed out that in a telephone conversation of 11 April 2018 he had undertaken to start the process of engaging Investec on that same day, but no evidence had been forthcoming that Investec had been instructed to seek the necessary exchange control approvals and give the requisite cash confirmation."
It adds that the apparent serving of contempt of court proceedings "seems to have prompted Mr King's request of 11 June 2018 to have the Committee convened for a review of the Executive's refusal to agree an extension of time.
"In the meantime, Mr King had produced no evidence to show that he had instructed Investec to seek the necessary exchange control consents or to confirm its willingness to receive the consideration monies into a UK account with a view to giving the requisite cash confirmation.
"It is noteworthy that, in his submissions of 18 June 2018 Mr King does not maintain that he has now instructed Investec to do this."