Rangers Football Club, the Scottish team that has spent the last two years in financial disarray, are about to float on London’s junior stock exchange (AIM) in a listing led by investment bank Cenkos.
Rangers is set to raise up to £27m via an initial public offering on the Alternative Investment Market, according to their ipo documents registered with the London Stock Exchange. The proceeds “will be used for strengthening the player squad, improving and developing the club’s properties and facilities”. Yeah right!
In 2011, the club was taken over by Craig Whyte, a businessman who served a seven-year directorship ban from 2000. By early February 2012, with no end to a tax dispute in sight and questions raised over Whyte’s suitability as owner, the club was placed in administration. It emerged shortly after that Whyte had funded his takeover of the club by securing £24.4m from ticket agency Ticketus in return for future season ticket revenues. Whyte has now been red carded for life; banned from Scottish football.
In January, the club’s shares were suspended on Plus Markets, the UK exchange for small and often illiquid stocks, after it failed to file accounts on time. Rangers have “Free transfered” out Cairn Financial as their Plus NOMAD and signed up a new AIM “striker”Cenkos (COSTING SEVERAL MILLION) who will play up-front when they list on Aim. Kick off for the listing is 8am 18 December 2012 cheered on by an expected full house of 38,528,571 New Ordinary Shares.
There’s nothing new here. UK football clubs listing have a chequered history. Scottish club Celtic, listed on Aim in 1995, were trading at 280p in 1999 & now trade at 39p. Manchester United, one of the world’s most successful clubs, listed in August on the New York Stock Exchange for $233m. The stock is currently struggling to get back to its $14 ipo price.
Rangers, are in the midst of the most turbulent financial period of the club’s 140-year history. So why would any sane investor shore them up. You are literally throwing your money away. Better to buy a season ticket & tout it for the games then give to a bunch of champagne guzzling footballers.
In June, current chief executive Charles Green bought the club’s assets for £5.5m as the club entered administration. Fellow Scottish clubs forced the ‘newco’ to begin life in the Scottish third division, where it currently sits TOP in the table. Commentating on the IPO, Green 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.” I bet he is. There’s only one way this is going to go and that’s the Celtic FC way. Placings upon placings and an ever dwindling share-price. You’d have to be mentally unstable to invest here. Or press-ganged by a bunch of delusional, wide-eyed crazy Picts !
Stay well away this IPO is for “nutters” only!