Rangers reveal Newcastle owner Mike Ashley among major investors

Mike Ashley, owner of Sports Direct and Newcastle football club
Mike Ashley: The club believes it can raise up to £27m from share issue.Rex Features

Rangers have confirmed SportsDirect owner Mike Ashley is the third largest shareholder in the club as they revealed their major investors.

In a notification to the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, the Ibrox club revealed that its initial public share offering to would allow them to buy a stake in a new holding company, Rangers International Football Club plc.

According to the announcement on AIM, the share issue is anticipated to raise up to £27m capital, while Rangers International will "own and operate" the current business that runs the club, The Rangers Football Club Ltd.

In the statement, chief executive Charles Green was named as the largest shareholder with a current 14.9% stake in the The Rangers Football Club Ltd, while Blue Pitch Holding, who Mr Green said the legal beneficiary of was Mazen Houssami, has an 11.9% shareholding in the company.

Mike Ashley, whose firm SportsDirect previously announced a retail agreement with Rangers newco over selling official merchandise, is listed as the third largest shareholder in the company, with a 8.9% stake.

Two further non-executive directors of The Rangers Football Club Ltd are also listed in the announcement ahead of the flotation, having never previously been mentioned in relation to the club.

Philip Cartmell, a former chief executive officer of security and defence firm Vega Group plc, and former Mercedes Benz-UK director Bryan Smart, are listed as directors of the newco, which was set up by Charles Green’s consortium that purchased the club’s assets in a £5.5m deal earlier this year.

According to the announcement: "Upon admission, Rangers International Football Club plc will acquire Rangers Football Club Limited on the basis of a one for one share exchange and after admission Rangers International Football Club plc will be the holding company for the group."

Rangers International Football Club plc will have an "anticipated market capitalisation" of £50m, if it raises the targeted £20m through the share offer, according to the stock exchange notification.

The AIM announcement lists Margarita Funds Holding Trust as the current fourth-largest shareholder in Rangers, with a 7.7% stake. The origin of the trust is not known, while those behind it are also not named.

Zeus Capital, which was involved in the asset purchase by Mr Green and previously stated it owned a stake in the newco, is not listed as a major shareholder in Rangers. However, Zeus co-founder Richard Hughes owns a 6.5% stake in Rangers, while Imran Ahmad, a managing director of Zeus, owns the same size of stake.

Craig Mather, who is a managing director of Nottingham-based footballer and cricketer agents Simply Sport Management, has a 5.3% share in the company, while another shareholder listed is Norne Anstalt, a Liechenstien firm that is part of London-based Turquoise Capital LLP, which states on its website that it invests in "selected opportunities in energy and environment".

The AIM announcement lists Margarita Funds Holding Trust as the current fourth-largest shareholder in Rangers, with a 7.7% stake. The origin of the trust is not known, while those behind it are also not named.

Zeus Capital, which was involved in the asset purchase by Mr Green and previously stated it owned a stake in the newco, is not listed as a major shareholder in Rangers. However, Zeus co-founder Richard Hughes owns a 6.5% stake in Rangers, while Imran Ahmad, a managing director of Zeus, owns the same size of stake.

Craig Mather, who is a managing director of Nottingham-based footballer and cricketer agents Simply Sport Management, has a 5.3% share in the company, while another shareholder listed is Norne Anstalt, who is a director of London-based Turquoise Capital LLP, which states on its website that it invests in "selected opportunities in energy and environment".

More About Focus on Rangers

Related articles

People who read this story also read