Dubai International Capital have confirmed for the first time that they have been in discussions with Liverpool’s current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett about a possible takeover. Until now we’ve had to rely on off-the-record admissions of interest and have not been able to read any direct quotes, but DIC chief executive Sameer al-Ansari has now admitted the interest.
He said: “It’s no secret that we have been in discussions with the current owners. It’s not easy because the owners are in dreamland about valuations at the moment.”
Al-Ansari was later pressed about his statement referring to both owners being in “dreamland” and explained that in fact one of the duo “had come out of dreamland” but declined to name which one. But dreamland or not, it’s known that Gillett wants out and Hicks is determined to stay. However the implication of al-Ansari’s words is that Hicks has named a price – just a rather large one.
Whether the valuations have been at “dreamland” level or not is a matter of opinion of course, and neither owner is obliged to sell purely because it’s the best offer on the table. Their decision has to be based on whether selling at the best available price is more profitable to them in the long run than holding on and waiting for possible future revenue increases to kick in.
Some reports claim DIC only want control of the club, requiring them to one way or another acquire part of Hicks’ share as well as all of Gillett’s, but Hicks also wants control of the club rather than be a minority partner to DIC.