Ex-Rangers director Dave King has Scottish restraint order revoked

Dave King, Rangers director, arriving at Glasgow Airport.
Dave King: The former Rangers shareholder has had the restraint order revoked.SNS Group

Former Rangers director Dave King has had a restraint order against him in Scotland revoked.

The Johannesburg-based businessman had the restraint order taken out against him by the South African Revenue Service, which has been involved in a long-running dispute with him.

In Scotland the order was enforced by the Crown Office, which prevented the 57-year-old from dealing in "realisable assets", which prevented him from being able to invest in any Scottish companies, including Rangers.

Mr King is accused by the South African authorities of transferring the assets of his financial risk management consultancy firm, Ben Nevis, to Metlika Trading Limited after his old company was pursued for a £222m tax bill by the country’s revenue service.

The restraint order was initially taken out against Mr King in 2006 after he was charged with criminal offences involving alleged tax evasion and breaches of exchange control regulations in relation to the transfer between Ben Nevis and Metlika.

He claims to have invested around £20m in Rangers oldco, formerly The Rangers Football Club plc, in 2000. This led to him owning a 5.3% stake in the company through Metlika.

In a Court of Session action earlier this month, Mr King was successful in revoking the restraint order against him as an individual, although the court action remains in force in Scotland against Metlika.

A Crown Office spokesman said: "Following a request by the South African prosecuting authorities restraint was sought by the Crown in 2006 of assets of David King and Metlika Trading Limited, a company associated with David King. Part of the property held by Metlika included a shareholding in Rangers FC. The court granted a restraint order on 29th June 2006.

"The court recalled the restraint order in respect of King on Friday 9 November 2012. The restraint order in respect of Metlika remains in force."

When contacted by STV regarding the court action to recall the order, Mr King said: "I did have the order revoked and also received a costs order against the Crown."

He was unsuccessful in revoking a separate court order against him, imposed by Sars and HM Revenue and Customs. It froze £7.8m in a London bank account in the name of Metlike Trading Limited, which the tax authorities claim the Castlemilk-born businessman obtained through the transfer of assets from Ben Nevis.

In June the High Court Chancery Division in London rejected his claim to have the freezing order withdrawn.

In June, days after the Sevco consortium bought oldco Rangers’ assets in a £5.5m deal, Mr King held talks at Ibrox with newco chief executive Charles Green.

He stated that Mr Green had given him "absolute, categorical insurances" that former owner Craig Whyte was not involved in the Sevco group, while he also stated he did not believe it was possible for the newco to run at a profit, which the owners believe it can do.

Following the appointment of administrators at Rangers in February, Mr King stated he was planning to sue former Rangers owner Sir David Murray over his £20m investment in the club because of financial mismanagement, including the use of offshore tax avoidance employee benefit trusts (EBTs) to pay the wages of players and some directors between 2000 and 2010.

Sir David claimed he would vigorously contest that action if it arose, while Mr King was unsuccessful in registering as a creditor of Rangers FC in a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). He had lodged a claim for £20m and stated that he would put any money he retrieved back into the club, but administrators Duff and Phelps rejected his application.

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