No sign of annoying thawing in the friction between Mike Ashley and those in control of Rangers these days.
No surprise to Newcastle fans to see the club’s owner and Rangers shareholder not willing to give ground when facing a challenge at a football club he is looking to make cash out of.
The latest round of the Rangers saga has this time fallen in Ashley’s favour, though it is likely to be only a ‘moral’ victory for him.
Rangers Chairman Dave King has been ordered to make a £12million bid for all Rangers shares, including the near 9% owned by Mike Ashley.
The Stock Exchange’s Takeover Appeal Board has found Dave King guilty of breaching financial regulations with regard to his bid to take control of the Ibrox club.
They ruled that King had worked with the Three Bears investment group and they’d acted ‘in concert’ when buying up shares in the club.
Their combined shareholding breached the 30% mark meaning that they should, under market regulations, have extended their offer to all shareholders owning any part of the 87m shares.
The Takeover Appeal Board (TAB) had evidence in the way of emails between Dave King and Three Bears consortium member George Letham. The TAB accusing King of instigating the joint plan to buy the shares and said that he had obstructed the investigation throughout, as well as providing no evidence to disprove the charges.
They have now given King 30 days to make the offer to buy up the remaining 67 per cent of shares not owned by his offshore holding company or his closest allies.
The price set by the Board though for his offer (that he must make for every share) is just 20p per share and is well below the market value.
Dave King arguing that going to the time and expense of making the offer will be pointless.
“I do not believe that there is any substantial group of RIFC shareholders that would be willing to sell its shares in RIFC at the price at which the TAB has determined I should make an offer.
“Twenty pence is not a price that I personally believe represents a fair price for RIFC’s shares, nor is it the price at which shares in RIFC are currently trading.
‘I would anticipate that, if I was to proceed with an offer on the terms TAB require, it would be rejected by the overwhelming majority of RIFC’s shareholders and therefore not receive the level of acceptances necessary to proceed. I cannot see how making an offer that is doomed to fail can benefit RIFC’s shareholders.”
Not sure what the intention of this punishment is, other than to annoy Dave King, as it looks very unlikely/impossible that the likes of Mike Ashley would consider selling at that 20p a share price, even though many of the shares were bought previously for less than that, many of them by buyers for as little as 1p per share.