REGULATORS have brought fresh legal action over the failure by Rangers chairman Dave King to make a judge-ordered £11 million bid for most of the club’s shares.

It has emerged that representatives of the Takeover Panel were in the Court of Session on Tuesday in a private session in front of Lord Doherty as the impasse over the issue continues.

Last month the Takeover Panel was granted a court order which forbid 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 who says he has the funds in South Africa rather than the UK has since accused the Takeover Panel of “bullying” while confirming the club hoped to raise £6 million of fresh capital from a share issue “before June”.

The Rangers chief has already been told that he is in breach of takeover rules by failing to make the shares bid by a deadline of April 26.


Rangers International Football Club plc stated in early May that 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.

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.


That meant under the code of takeovers and mergers, an offer should be make to all other shareholders at the highest price paid in the 12 months before the offer was announced.

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.

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It is understood that no decision was made at the Thursday hearing which is understood to relate to having an order in relation to Section 955 of the Companies Act 2006.

Section 955 provides a route for the Panel to apply to the court to enforce requirements as well as requests for documents and information.

The Panel can make an application where there is reasonable likelihood that a person will contravene a requirement imposed. But it is not normally expected that the court would rehear substantively the issues giving rise to the original ruling.


On April 24, the Takeover Panel received "certain orders" which 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.


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.

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 it is still not forthcoming.

A letter by John Bennett, the chairman of an "independent directors" group of Rangers International Football Club plc on April 4 to shareholders agreed that the original Laird announcement had not been "cash confirmed" and said that "this will be addressed promptly" after April 4.


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

Mr King claims the Takeover Panel had "changed the requirement" in insisting funds were held in the UK and said at the beginning of May: "I'll need time to comply."

He added: "You can’t ask me to do it, get my acceptance to do it and not give the extension to comply. That’s absurd.”

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.

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.

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".