REGULATORS have taken legal action to compel Rangers chairman Dave King to make a judge-ordered £11 million bid for most of the club’s shares.

It has emerged that the Takeover Panel has been granted a court order which also forbids any attempt by Mr King's South African-based Laird Investments (Proprietary) Limited from making the mandatory offer to thousands of shareholders without a third party confirming that the funds to support it are there.

The Rangers chief has already been told that he is in breach of takeover rules by failing to make the bid.

HeraldScotland:

Rangers International Football Club plc said it understood that the funds for the offer are there and that Laird was seeking South African government approval to allow the money for the offer to be transferred to the UK.

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Lord Carloway at the Court of Session dismissed an appeal in March forcing a bid for 70 per cent of the shares to be made after agreeing that Mr King and others acted together to force their way into the Ibrox boardroom three years ago and ousting a board of directors said to be allied to Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley.

HeraldScotland:

It came after the Takeover Panel originally decided that a formal takeover should have been triggered after the Three Bears group led by Mr King secured more than 30 per cent of the voting rights in Rangers.

The Takeover Panel has now received what the courts have described as "certain orders" on April 24.

The Herald understands the orders were aimed firstly to ensure that the bid is made while supported by actual funding making it Takeover Code-compliant, and secondly to ensure that no offer is made to shareholders without that money.

The move came after the panel said an initial share bid announcement by Mr King did not comply with the Takeover Code, as it was not supported by cleared funds.

READ MORE: Dave King 'breaches takeover rules' by failing to make £11m Rangers shares bid by deadline

Mr King's Laird firm had said in the March 29 announcement that the bid would be funded "using the receipt of dividends" amounting to £13,074,842.90 which was "to be declared on April 4".

Mr King had gone through a lengthy battle through through the courts to stave off pressure to buy the shares fearing the heavy financial toll it would place on him.

HeraldScotland:

During an October hearing, Mr King's advocate Lord Davidson of Glen Clova QC argued that the Rangers chief "is penniless" adding: "Any order wouldn't secure compliance. It won't. It is pointless."

Under Takeover Code rules, a written offer to shareholders had to be made within 28 days of Laird making the bid announcement on March 29 - but so far it has not been forthcoming.

READ MORE: Rangers directors Paul Murray and Barry Scott step down from Ibrox board

A letter by John Bennett, the chairman of an "independent directors" group of Rangers International Football Club plc to shareholders agreed that the original Laird announcement had not been "cash confirmed" by a third party as required by Rule 2.7(d) of the Takeover Code.

HeraldScotland:

He said in a circular on April 4 that "this will be addressed promptly" after April 4 so that when the official offer to shareholders is made the cash to fund it will be ringfenced by a third party.

He said that the bid announcement was expected to be followed by the actual offer to shareholders "no later than 26th April, 2018".

RIFC plc said last week that it noted that the 28 days had expired "without the publication of a code-compliant offer document" and that it had been informed by the Takeover Panel "that this is a breach of Rule 24.1 of the code".

READ MORE: Dave King 'breaches takeover rules' by failing to make £11m Rangers shares bid by deadline

The King-led takeover group – which included Park's Motor Group founder Douglas Park, Rangers Supporters Trust and Rangers First member George Taylor and Rangers fan George Letham – had always denied that they had acted 'in concert' to purchase shares in Rangers on December 31 2014 and January 2, 2015.

HeraldScotland:

But the Takeover Appeal Board (TAB) last year said that " the case for concluding that... Mr Letham and Mr King, at least, were acting in concert in purchasing the relevant shares becomes overwhelming".

In December Lord Bannatyne ruled in favour of the Takeover Panel that Mr King acted in concert with other shareholders when he bought a controlling stake in 2015.

READ MORE: Dave King 'breaches takeover rules' by failing to make £11m Rangers shares bid by deadline

But Mr King argued that a judge went "too far" in ordering him to make a mandatory offer at a price of 20p a share.

Lord Carloway on March 1 announced that a fresh appeal would be refused.

Lord Bannatyne in a previous hearing said that Mr King's argument that he did not have the funds to make the offer was "irrelevant".