Tom Hicks paves way for talks with DIC
By David Bond
Last Updated: 3:10am GMT 06/03/2008
Tom Hicks wrote to advisers of Dubai International Capital yesterday indicating his representatives were prepared to meet for talks in London next week to discuss their offer to buy 50 per cent of the club from George Gillett.
David Bond: Dubai International Capital banking on Hicks
Although Hicks maintains he has no intention of selling his half of the club to the sovereign wealth fund, yesterday's thawing of relations suggested DIC's £400 million bid for control of Anfield could be on the verge of a major breakthrough.
Talks between Gillett's lawyers and DIC's negotiators, the private equity firm PCP Capital Partners, were continuing last night.
Despite increasing their initial offer to Gillett from £40 million to a deal which could earn the Colorado-based entrepreneur as much as £80 million, he is stalling on an agreement and is understood to be holding out for even more money.
DIC, in turn, have made it clear they will not up their offer and that the American is running out of time to accept their bid.
DIC are hopeful that by indicating his willingness to discuss the future of Gillett's joint-ownership of Liverpool, Hicks is preparing to drop his opposition to their purchase of his co-chairman's shares.
Having rejected the offer made to both Americans by DIC last week, Hicks went even further, by making it clear that not only did he have first refusal on Gillett's shares but that he would block any move by DIC to purchase them.
His stance threatened to leave Liverpool in an awkward limbo even if they clinched an agreement with Gillett to buy him out.
Hicks has now told DIC that in the interests of Liverpool supporters, it is vital that the impasse over Gillett's future is resolved.
DIC say they are hopeful a deal will be agreed with Gillett, at least in principle, by the weekend. That would then leave them clear to persuade Hicks to drop his veto against the DIC deal.
Despite yesterday's letter from Hicks, a spokesman for the Texan billionaire said last night that he had not softened his position and was still prepared to use his blocking option to stop DIC gaining a foothold in the club.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2008/03/06/sfnliv106.xml