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Henry bidding for English soccer team

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  October 5, 2010 06:50 PM

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More on this story to come as details are learned. But a source has told the Globe that New England Sports Ventures, the company that owns the Red Sox, has placed a very competitive bid on Liverpool FC of the English Premier League.

The soccer team is owned by financially troubled former Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks and his partner, George Gillett. Hicks is said to not be interested in selling but the team's independent board of directors has approved the submission of offers from New England Sports Ventures (John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino) and an Asian group.

UPDATE, 7:24 p.m.: This was posted on the Liverpool web site:

The Board of Directors have received two excellent financial offers to buy the Club that would repay all its long-term debt. A Board meeting was called today to review these bids and approve a sale. Shortly prior to the meeting, the owners - Tom Hicks and George Gillett - sought to remove Managing Director Christian Purslow and Commercial Director Ian Ayre from the Board, seeking to replace them with Mack Hicks and Lori Kay McCutcheon.

This matter is now subject to legal review and a further announcement will be made in due course.

Meanwhile Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre continue to explore every possible route to achieving a sale of the Club at the earliest opportunity.

The Henry group has placed one of two bids for the team, according to SkySports.com. Broughton, the club chairman, called the bids "credible", and the report says negotiations are ongoing. Liverpool, whose board of directors has been engaged in a battle for control of the team, has until Oct. 15 to repay debts of about $450 million to the Royal Bank of Scotland.

According to The Telegraph, both the New England Sports Ventures Bid and the competing bid are for somewhere between $445 and $475 million.

The AP reports that Hicks and Gillett won't accept the bids because they match only what Hicks and Gillett paid for the club in 2007.

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