Dave King Ordered To Offer All Existing Sevco Shareholders A Buy-Out In Stunning Court Ruling.

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Trust Sevco to blow it, again.

Trust Dave King to give us all a lift, and some good cheer, on the day after a game when his side secured a reasonably good result.

Today, a stunning judgement has been published by the London Stock Exchange Takeover Panel in a case they’ve been running against King and his board for nearly two years. This wasn’t reported in the media, anywhere, but King has already lost every stage of these proceedings. This was the final appeal, and not only has it been lost but the verdict is a stunning repudiation of King as a businessman and as an individual who can be trusted.

Amongst the stunning findings are these;

King and named others – Letham, Park and Taylor – conspired in an effort to gain a controlling interest of Sevco, named in the documents as The Rangers International Football Club PLC, and aimed to hide that fact from the Takeover Panel because of the legal obligation that in doing so they trigged Rule 9 of the Code which, put simply, would have obliged them to make a “controlling interest” offer to all the existing shareholders in the company.

King was the leader of this enterprise, and so the final verdict – that their actions have triggered Rule 9 and such an offer has to be made – falls on him and on him alone.

That in the course of the investigation King lied, repeatedly, to the Takeover Panel, including telling that, in fact, he held no shares or interests in the club at all … a statement which he, himself, flatly contradicted in giving evidence. He also withheld documentation, delayed responding, scheduled meetings only to cancel at the last minute and numerous other tactics which will be familiar to those who followed his tax case exploits in South Africa.

That the Takeover Board and their Committee’s were wholly unimpressed by his obfuscation and flat out falsehoods and used them in their evidence that he was attempting to conceal the nature of what went on during the period of “the takeover.”

Finally, in spite of King clearly fancying himself as some kind of James Bond villain, that he did something that’s exceedingly rare in these types of cases, which the Panel’s usually have to decide on the basis of “nudges and winks” and common sense examination of circumstantial evidence … he left a paper trail of emails and written minutes detailing meetings and communiques where he and Letham, in particular, laid it all out there and provided the investigators with more evidence than they required to make this a slam dunk.

All in all, King has, again, been held up as a shameless liar, prepared to do and say anything to conceal his activities from investigating bodies.

But this has a deadly sting in the tail and one that might well have calamitous consequences for him and for the club.

We’ll see how it pans out. But the verdict of it is pretty clear; King has been given 30 days to put together a prospectus offering to buy every single share in Sevco, from his own funds. Depending on what the uptake rate is, this could virtually wipe him out.

If he refuses, legal action will follow that will make it impossible for him to continue on the board.

I’ll be doing more on this as the story develops; just try to wrap your brains around what this means.

King and his cohort have been found liable in a conspiracy. He has been personally lacerated in the verdict and is now legally obligated to buy every share in the company from every shareholder who wants to sell; it could cost tens of millions.

This is a developing story, alright, and the SFA is going to have to answer some questions of their own in light of what this absolutely incredible, scathing verdict has found.

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