Craig Whyte ‘wanted Ticketus removed from takeover papers’

Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte leaves the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: SNS Group
Former Rangers owner Craig Whyte leaves the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: SNS Group
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Craig Whyte told accountants to remove Ticketus from documents relating to his Rangers takeover, a trial has heard.

A key associate of Whyte accepted it could have been “misleading” not to have revealed the role of a tickets firm in the Rangers takeover.

Former business partner Philip Betts was quizzed about “cash flow projections” made ahead of the May 2011 buyout.

A jury heard how the involvement of Ticketus – said to have helped fund the deal – was removed.

Prosecutors yesterday went on to claim the information had been “actively concealed”.

The evidence was yesterday made at Whyte’s trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

The 46 year-old denies a charge of fraud and a second allegation under the Companies Act in connection with his takeover.

Mr Betts – an asset finance broker – previously told how he got involved in Whyte’s bid for Rangers after first meeting him in 2009.

Prosecutors state Whyte took out a loan from the firm against three years of season ticket sales to help fund the takeover.

The court heard how cash flow projections had to be prepared before the purchase of Sir David Murray’s majority stake at Ibrox.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC asked had there been a “desire” to keep “the involvement of Ticketus confidential”.

Mr Betts said the company had not wanted the Murray group to know and he believed that this involved a non-disclosure agreement being signed.

Any mention of Ticketus was then taken out of the financial projections.

Mr Prentice suggested this could be “highly misleading” to the Murray team.

Mr Betts replied: “It would be misleading, yes.”

The advocate depute went on to state the information had been “actively concealed” from the Murray side.

The court was later told that there were “a number of hitches” in getting the Whyte buy-out “over the line”.

The jury earlier heard how Whyte’s buy-out was eventually clinched with a £1 coin being flicked across a table in Edinburgh. The trial, before Judge Lady Stacey, continues.