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Sat 13 Oct 2012 11:44 AM

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Dubai-linked football club eyes London listing

Scottish club Rangers announces plan; Abraaj chief Arif Naqvi is its biggest shareholder

Dubai-linked football club eyes London listing

Scottish football club Rangers, in which Dubai businessman Arif Naqvi is the biggest shareholder, has announced its intention to list on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.

Rangers said it intends to raise up to £20m through an institutional investor placing and limited public offering.

Arif Naqvi, chief executive and founder of private equity firm Abraaj Capital owns just under 18 percent in the club which went into liquidation during the summer.

Naqvi is said to have invested £2m in the club in June.

The funds by the listing will be used for strengthening the player squad, improving and developing the club’s properties and facilities, as well as providing additional working capital.

It is anticipated that listing will become effective before the end of the year, Rangers said in a statement.

Since its formation in 1872, The Rangers Football Club has become one of the world’s most successful clubs, having won 54 League titles, 33 Scottish Cups, 27 League Cups and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.

Charles Green, chief executive of Rangers, said: “From the time we acquired the business and assets of Rangers FC, we indicated our intention to list the company and provide our fans with the opportunity to invest in their club. I am delighted that our plans are coming to fruition.

“Rangers is debt-free and a huge club with enormous support and a 140 year track record of success on the domestic and international arenas. Our aim is to return the club to its glory days whilst ensuring it is run efficiently and profitably.”

Rangers, who have dominated soccer in Scotland with Glasgow rivals Celtic for decades, were forced to relaunch this season from the lowly fourth tier of the game following their financial crisis.

The decision represented a spectacular fall from grace for the 54-times Scottish champions.

Rangers went into administration in February before a takeover last month by a consortium led by English businessman Charles Green.

Naqvi, who founded Abraaj in 2002 and has raised $7bn since then, said in March he believes an IPO will provide the company with a currency to continue to grow.

Dubai-based Abraaj Capital, the Middle East's largest private equity firm, owns stakes in Orascom Construction, budget carrier Air Arabia and supermarket chain Spinneys.

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Peter John 7 years ago

Fact check: I think you'll find The Rangers Football Club was formed in 2012.

george glen 7 years ago

That's a Peter Pan comment, pure fantasy, Rangers then, Rangerfs now, Rangers forever, and YES I'll be investing

ScotsExpat 7 years ago

Oh dear, George. I think you will find Peter is factually correct. Charles Green's Sevco consortium completed the purchase of the business and assets of Rangers in June after the club was consigned to liquidation following failure to secure a Company Voluntary Arrangement in order to exit administration. Dundee then received Rangers' share and joined the SPL. "The Rangers Football Club" is indeed a club with a history spanning almost 5 months now....

Joseph 7 years ago

Actually I think you'll find that he's not. Under Scots Business law, in football the holding company and the club are distinct. The company was consigned to liquidation, not the football club. The football club existed prior to the first holding company being set up and as such, the SFA and UEFA recognise the history of Rangers (the football club) as being continuous from 1872.
In addition, it is also the SFA membership and not SPL share that matters. The SPL has only been in existence for just over 10 years anyway. Rangers SFA membership is also unbroken. The only people who believe Rangers to have no history are the ones whose own club can't compete with that history!

Union Scot 7 years ago

Not nearly true.
All the history was purchased and transfered to the new 'company' therefore everything is still intact. Why would the SFA be looking to take titles away if we only had a history of 5 months??? (also the old company is still in existance, it has not been liquidated).
Most football fans support a 'club' in any case not a 'company', and as you know our club is alive and kicking.
In any case i would rather have a history like ours than a history like yours, and I sure you know what i mean.
Please remain an expat.