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Exclusive: Rangers Plots Stock Market Return

(c) Sky News 2012
 

The new owner of Rangers Football Club is close to appointing advisers to kick off a swift return to the London stock market.

I understand that the consortium led by Charles Green, which took control of the Scottish outfit in a cut-price £5.5m deal to acquire its assets in June, is poised to hire Cenkos Securities (Berlin: CCE.BE - news) , the broking firm, to handle the flotation.

Cenkos is one of a number of brokers which have held talks with Mr Green’s consortium in recent weeks, and it remains possible that another firm will be appointed if an agreement cannot be reached, according to insiders.

The listing is likely to see the newly-reconstituted Rangers, which began the season in the bottom tier of Scottish professional football, listed on the junior AIM market before the end of the year.

People close to the situation said that it could seek to raise as much as £20m, part of which is likely to be used to fund the acquisitions of new players.

Details of how supporters and investors will be able to acquire shares in the company, called The Rangers Football Club, will not be available for several weeks, insiders say.

Rangers' takeover and subsequent demotion to the Scottish Third Division capped an astonishing fall from grace for one of the biggest names in British sport.

The club's liquidation following the fiasco of the ownership of Craig Whyte culminated in a series of bitter contract disputes with star players, and the tax man.

Since the deal Mr Green, a former chief executive of Sheffield United (Xetra: 854753 - news) , has struck a merchandising joint venture with Mike Ashley, the tycoon who owns Newcastle United and who may acquire a stake in Rangers as part of a stock market listing.

Mr Green believes that despite its recent travails, Rangers has considerable international potential as a sporting and leisure brand.

If Rangers successfully floats with a valuation of around £30m, that could augur well for the prospective valuation of the club’s 'Old Firm' rivals, Celtic (LSE: CCP.L - news) , which is also listed on AIM.

There have been few new stock market flotations of major British football clubs in recent years, with Manchester United’s recent listing in New York (Frankfurt: A0DKRK - news) being a rare example.

The club declined to comment.