In which I look at the new bidders on the scene regarding Rangers, wonder where they have made the money to buy the club, and point out that they have had a wee difficulty with paperwork in the past.
Please welcome aboard Aleftav Ltd. According to Chris McLaughlin of the BBC, this company, owned by two Glasgow land developers, is willing to bid £11 million to buy “Rangers” from Mr Green’s consortium. Quite what they are looking to buy is not yet clear. Is it Sevco, or Sevco 5088 or Sevco Scotland or Steve Ovett or the assets and business of Rangers?
“Allan Stewart and Stephen McKenna plan to bid about £11m for the club. They hope to run Rangers for two to three years before floating the company on the Stock Exchange and handing the club over to the fans.
A source close to the bid said: “The money is in place, it’s now up to the owners. I believe people who know Scottish football should be in charge of the club. The plan is to run Rangers for a few years before handing the club and the stadium back to the fans.”
Hands up who thinks the “source close to the bid” is either Mr Stewart or Mr McKenna?
The business plan, from the brief offering given, seems to fit the MO of Mr Green – get in, float, get out with a good profit. Messrs McKenna and Stewart are wanting to give Sevco an instant profit of 100%, less expenses and costs of course, and then to reap the rewards for themselves. However, as Mr King pointed out yesterday do they have the money to run Rangers over and above what it will cost to buy it?
Aleftav Ltd was incorporated in August 2010, and Messrs McKenna and Stewart are the only Directors. It does not, at least according to its most recent accounts, have the money to buy Rangers for £11 million.
They have been directors of many companies together, Duedil .com listing over 35 for each. However none seem to suggest that they have generated the funds to enable them to have £11 million in place from their own funds.
A piece in the Daily Record in 2010, referred to one of their companies being wound up for an unpaid tax debt of £78,000, but stated “In an interview in 2007, the partners claimed they had made £134million the previous year after selling 14,000 flats worldwide.” So they might have lots of money saved up.
They also run a charity, the Stewart and McKenna Foundation, which has given around £183,000 to good causes over the last couple of years for which accounts are available.
Of course they may well have borrowed the money to buy Rangers – but would a prudent lender advance such a sum where there is no certainty that the company which they are looking to buy will still be in existence in a fortnight? Or is this the indication that there is money to be made from, Ibrox and Murray Park, but only as land deals?
And, on a side note, Messrs Stewart and McKenna seem to have had the problem with accurate paperwork which dogged Duff & Phelps from time to time, and Mr Whyte too.
One of their companies is Stewart and McKenna Holdings Ltd. This company was formed in 2007 with both men as Directors. Mr McKenna is shown as having resigned as a Director on 31st March 2011, with the relevant form arriving at Companies House on 5th April 2011. However, have a look at Page 5 of the following document stewart-and-mckenna-holdings-limited which is page 2 of the accounts. It states that the listed Directors have been so up to the date of the accounts, 9th June 2011, and the accounts are signed by Mr McKenna, as director, that day. But he had resigned over two months previously!
Bearing in mind how many companies these men have been involved in, and on the basis that they are successful land developers, we can forgive a simple lapse of paperwork. After all, neither Companies House not the accountants who prepared the accounts seem to have noted the error.
Reports suggest that Messrs Stewart and McKenna have been about the deal for a few months. In that case, it looks as if a delay in putting in their bid may have cost them a few million pounds! On the other hand, as it is being stated that Mr Green has no intention of selling, a cynic might see this as a way for the two developers to get their names in the news in a positive story. Thankfully I know that my readers are not cynical.
Posted by Paul McConville