Rangers chairman Dave King hearing postponed due to legal issues

Rangers chairman Dave King. Picture: John Devlin
Rangers chairman Dave King. Picture: John Devlin

A hearing into whether Rangers chairman Dave King has breached a court order which compels him to make an £11 million offer to the club’s shareholders has been postponed.

The businessman was expected to give evidence at the Court of Session in Edinburgh today into a case which has been brought to the legal facility by the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers.

The financial watchdog took the South African resident to Scotland’s highest civil court because it believed he didn’t comply with the terms of the 2006 Companies Act.

The legislation dictates that entrepreneurs who hold a 30 per cent in businesses are compelled to make an offer to investors to buy remaining shares.

In December 2017, the Court of Session ruled that Mr King had to comply with the law and make an offer for the shares.

Last month judge Lord Bannatyne urged Mr King to comply with the order as quickly as possible or face a hearing into whether Mr King was in contempt of court.

However, on Thursday, the hearing, which was scheduled to take place before judge Lady Wolffe, was cancelled at the last minute due to a legal issues.

Lady Wolffe scheduled proceedings to take place in October 2018.

The case has arisen over the actions of Mr King and the so called “three bears” - businessmen George Letham, George Taylor and Douglas Park when they took the club over in late 2014.

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Investigators for the panel concluded that the quartet acted in concert to acquire 30 per cent of shares.

The money for the shares came from offshore trusts which were in the name of Mr King’s family.

Lawyers acting for King said he didn’t have the money needed to buy back shares at 20 pence. Mr King’s legal team argued that the shares were acquired from cash which came from his family’s trusts.

The businessman claimed he didn’t have direct control over these trusts.

He said that a company registered in the British Virgin Islands had control over some of the shares.

His lawyers also argued that their client didn’t have the money to make the £11 million offer.

His advocate Lord Davidson of Glen Clova QC said Mr King was “penniless”.

However, Lord Bannatyne ruled that Mr King had control over the family trusts and could make the offer to buy the remaining shares.

Last month, Lord Bannatyne urged Mr King to comply with the terms of the court order.

He said: “The court and indeed the panel has no interest in how Mr King goes about this - as long as it is compliant.

“It is a matter of complete disinterest to the panel how he makes the offer - it doesn’t matter what trust he uses or how he raises the funds.

“It is about compliance with the order.”

Mr King was seen speaking to his lawyers in Parliament Hall before leaving the building and having coffee in a nearby cafe with an advisor.

He had earlier mingled in crowds on the Royal Mile who had been enjoying performances from participants in Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival.

The case will next call in October 2018.