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Rangers takeover talks likely to continue into next week

It is understood no deal is likely to be concluded by Craig Whyte for Murray International Holdings' shares before the weekend.

Craig Whyte has held talks with Rangers officials in Glasgow on Thursday but is yet to tie up a deal for the club.
©SNS Group

STV understands talks over the proposed takeover of Rangers Football Club are likely to go into next week, with some issues between buyer Craig Whyte and Murray International Holdings still to be resolved.

Whyte flew into Glasgow on Thursday and held discussions with a vetting committee made up of several Rangers board members, including chairman Alastair Johnston, John Greig, Martin Bain and John McLelland, talks which are said to have been positive.

But Whyte is yet to table a formal offer for MIH's 85 per cent shareholding in the club, with a deal now looking unlikely to be concluded as hoped by expectant supporters by the close of business on Friday.

It is understood Whyte's camp have now received documents from Lloyds Banking Group related to a deal between the bank and Whyte over the repayment of the club's debt.

Those proposals will see the asking price for Rangers drop from £33 million to a figure in the region of £25-28 million. Whyte will also take over a £4 million loan from Lloyds relating to the Albion car park at Ibrox, which will be paid back in instalments to the bank.

Rangers will announce their interim financial results for the six months ending December 31, 2010 on Friday morning, where it is expected a reduction in their overall debt to Lloyds will be revealed.  

If the sale of Murray International Holdings' shares to Whyte goes through, the businessman has to offer to buy out the company's other shareholders at the same price at which the majority stake was purchased.

Whyte's deal also includes a 25 per cent stake which will eventually be controlled by Andrew Ellis, who failed last year with a takeover bid of his own.

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