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Last Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006, 16:26 GMT
Reds revel in £450m takeover talk
Liverpool
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has welcomed the news that the Premiership club is poised for a £450m takeover.

Dubai International Capital (DIC), the investment arm of Dubai's government, confirmed on Monday that they were in talks about a possible buy-out.

"I have talked to the chairman (David Moores) and chief executive (Rick Parry) about this and I was pleased with what I heard," said Benitez.

"It is always good for a club to have more money and more possibilities."

Liverpool, five-times European champions, have given DIC permission to carry out a complete study of the club's financial records ahead of a possible takeover bid.

The proposed deal is expected to include £200m to build a new 60,000-capacity stadium.

This is very important in terms of the proposed new stadium, which is key to plans for the regeneration of the local community

Rick Parry
Liverpool chief executive

"This is the latest step on the road of finding the long-term investment that the club needs," said Parry.

"This is very important in terms of the proposed new stadium, which is key to plans for the regeneration of the local community.

"On the pitch, Liverpool remains focused on winning and, here again, this is all about doing a deal that gives us the long-term resources to do that."

DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari said: "We hope we can agree a deal.

"Liverpool's investment requirements are well publicised. Hopefully this will provide us with the opportunity to fund its needs both on and off the pitch."

606: DEBATE
KO

Both Moores and Parry stayed behind in Liverpool while the team flew to Istanbul for Tuesday's Champions League match against Galatasaray.

However, the deal is not expected to be concluded until early next year.

DIC owns the Madame Tussauds Group and the Travelodge hotel chain as well as one third of the London Eye.

The company is an investment arm of Dubai Holding, which is owned by Dubai Crown Prince and United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Sheikh Mohammed, whose family is internationally renowned for its running of the Godolphin horse racing stables, is the world's fifth richest man, with an estimated personal wealth of $10 billion.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum holds the bridle of Electrocutionist, who was ridden to victory in the Dubai World Cup by Frankie Dettori
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum is a keen racing fan
"Already they (DIC) have demonstrated a full understanding of, and respect for, the club's heritage and values," added Parry.

"We also believe they share our passion for success. In particular, DIC believes in investing in the businesses it acquires.

"This is very important in terms of the proposed new stadium, which is key to plans for the regeneration of the local community.

"On the pitch, Liverpool remains focused on winning and, here again, this is all about doing a deal that gives us the long-term resources to do that."

Liverpool have been linked with other takeover bids in recent years.

In 2005, American billionaire Robert Kraft - owner of the New England Patriots NFL team - was linked with a bid for the club.

Thaksin Shinawatra, then Prime Minister of Thailand, also made a high-profile bid to take control of the club in 2004.

Recent suitors have included George Gillet, the owner of the Montreal Canadians ice hockey team who met with Moores and Parry in the United States last month.

The takeover news will concern those worried about the number of Premiership clubs currently in the hands of foreign owners.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Portsmouth and Aston Villa have all gone through high-profile takeovers by foreign owners in recent years.



SEE ALSO
Dubai firm buys Travelodge hotels
18 Aug 06 |  Business
Kraft admits Liverpool interest
14 Nov 05 |  Liverpool
Dubai firm buys Tussauds
23 Mar 05 |  Business
Thais revive Liverpool bid
03 Aug 04 |  Liverpool
Thai PM ends Liverpool interest
18 Jun 04 |  Liverpool
Thais bullish on Reds deal
05 Jun 04 |  Liverpool
Thai PM in Liverpool talks
15 Mar 04 |  Liverpool


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