RANGERS chairman Dave King's court-ordered offer to buy the shares of the majority of club shareholders has been sanctioned by the takeover regulators - having been supported by city broker finnCap.

The mandatory offer, expected to cost him £8m if it is fully taken up had previously breached Takeover Code rules because there was no third party cash confirmation that the money for the judge-ordered bid for shares is actually there.

The Herald understands that finnCap are acting as the third party confirmer - making the company chaired by City veteran Jon Moulton, potentially liable if the finance is not there.

Mr King was ordered to make an offer for the remainder of the shares in Rangers International Football Club Ltd by the Takeover Panel financial watchdog after it ruled the South Africa-based businessman had acted “in concert” with fellow investors in the Three Bears group when they took control of the club from a group said to be allied to Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley in 2015.


Flashback to the 2015 takeover press conference

The 63-year-old businessman, had previously stated that delays with fulfilling the court order were the result of needing government approval to transfer the funds from South Africa to the UK.

READ MORE: Dave King faces contempt proceedings over Rangers shares bid 

Under Takeover Code rules if the confirmation is given and the money is not there, the Takeover Panel can bring an action against the third party 'guarantor' to recover the money for shareholders.

According to offer documents: "FinnCap is satisfied that the necessary resources are available to Laird to enable it to satisfy payment of (the) amount pursuant to the terms of the offer. These funds are drawn from Laird’s existing cash resources."

Shareholders have now until 1pm on Friday to take part in the offer.


The 63-year-old businessman, who had been defending claims of contempt of court over his failure so far to make the bid, agreed to meet a series of deadlines in December before finally fulfilling his pledge to make a bid to existing shareholders at 20p a share.

The offer came after a Court of Session contempt of court case in front of Lady Wolffe was paused after the Rangers chief said he was now “100%” committed to making the multi-million pound offer which is required under takeover rules.

The Ibrox chairman had been fighting through the courts to stave off pressure to buy the shares fearing the heavy financial toll it would place on him.

An original offer announcement was made to all shareholders by Mr King's South African-based Laird Investments (Proprietary) Limited on March 29, last year and stated that the bid would be funded "using the receipt of dividends to be declared on April 4 amounting to £13,074,842.90".

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.


The Takeover Panel was granted a court order which forbids any attempt by Laird from making the mandatory offer to thousands of shareholders without a third party confirming that the funds to support it are there.

Lord Carloway at the Court of Session dismissed an appeal last March forcing the bid for 70 per cent of the shares to be made after agreeing that he and others acted together to force their way into the Ibrox boardroom.

According to Takeover Panel rules the offer would fail, without Mr King having to pay a penny, if fewer than 61 per cent accept the offer of those who have not already declared they will not take part.

Offer documents show that 11 shareholders including Ally McCoist and the fans group Club 1872 who hold 38% of the club shares have made undertakings not to take up the offer.

The share offer would have cost Mr King £19 million but Laird say this is reduced to a maximum of £8m as a result of those who have already declared they will not take up the offer.

FinnCap – a corporate adviser and institutional brokerage for small-cap companies and private firms – said in January that it eventually wants to double the size of the business.