So the Sevco circus continues on…
I understand that Laxey Partners and their allies in the Institutional Investors are having a meeting today to get their ducks in a row apropos the Mike Ashley move.
It did rather blindside them and they have been considering their response to him.
I have to say that this ‘Dave King waiting in the wings’ story does seem to be a recurring thing in the tabloids.
Of course dear reader it is Off The Radar Pish.
For the avoidance of doubt it is Philip Tudor Nash duly, authorised by Chairman David Somers, who is running the Sevco show.
As readers here will know Graham Wallace did go on a solo run to Dave King back in the summer, but he was fully briefed by his employers that anything similar in the future was not on.
The view of David Somers and the board is that if Mr David Cunningham King wants to do business then he knows where they are.
Perhaps next time he will turn up with a pen and paper…
Moreover I am told by excellently placed sources that Philip Nash has never had a meeting with Paul Murray.
Although the Ashley move is seen as him taking over RIFC he will attempt to do this without actually owning any more shares. The current market capitalisation of Rangers International Football Club (RIFC) is £18.33m. I asked a city analyst who has been studying this shambles for me what the entire bad news would be for Ashley if he wanted to buy RIFC and be rid of the onerous contracts. He told me that he would have to part with around £30 million to buy the shares and settle with those lucky chaps who have a beneficial interest in the Onerous Contracts.
That doesn’t sound to me like a good deal for Mr Ashley. What would be more to his liking would be either achieving control without increasing his current shareholding. However he might buy out, say buying out Blue Pitch Holdings and/or Margarita Holdings and then he could get his own guys into run the Ibrox club to his liking.
Of course Mr Ashley knows all about the RIFC Onerous Contract as he has two of them!
The Superstore contract and the stadium naming rights have both been publicly slammed as being in the ‘Onerous’ category.
Philip Nash has been assured by Laxey partners and the Institutional investors that they are very happy with his performance and that he has their full support.
Of course the Newcastle United owner has excellent reasons for getting rid of the ex-Liverpool CFO. It was Nash who impressed upon Graham Wallace that the £2.5million credit line provided last year was highly onerous.
If Mr Ashley is successful then he will be no benefactor.
However he is no Craig Whyte either and he would make sure that any insolvency event would not occur unless it would benefit his long-term business plan.
He has the means to drip feed working capital into the Ibrox business for as long as it serves his overall commercial needs.
For the avoidance of doubt Mr Ashley has no emotional attachment to the Rangers culture and any paid up member of the Toon Army will readily tell you how they regard him.
My Square Mile chap stated that, going on past Ashley business practice, the Sports Direct entrepreneur would be betting on the Onerous Contract holders selling to him at a discount.
Big Mike is a gambler and he has certainly taken a punt on Sevco.
I don’t know if he will end up as the Ring Grandmaster or fall off the high wire, but it is the customers at the Ibrox Superstore who are the clowns.
Roll up! Roll up!