sport

Rangers seek fresh investment

The board at Rangers has confirmed it will launch a 4million share issue in an attempt to seek fresh investment for the Scottish Championship side.

Ibrox chief executive Graham Wallace admitted in his business review earlier this year that the club was likely to turn to existing shareholders to help plug a shortfall in revenue.

That move came after it was revealed the club had spent almost 70m working its way through the lowest two tiers of Scottish football in the 18 months since it was reformed following liquidation of the oldco in the summer of 2012.

Now directors have confirmed they are looking to raise fresh investment from institutional investors such as Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita Holdings.

In a statement released to the Stock Exchange, the club said: "Further to the announcement of 25 April, 2014, the board of Rangers announces that the company is considering a possible equity issue in which all existing shareholders would be eligible to participate.

"Support is being sought from institutional investors to underwrite the possible equity issue. Discussions are ongoing and there can be no certainty of the outcome of these discussions.

"In line with the exemption to the European Union Prospectus Directive the possible equity issue would be for not more than an aggregate five million euros (4m) and would avoid the costs of preparing a prospectus."

Earlier this year, Rangers were forced to take out a 1.5m loan from football club chairman Sandy Easdale and wealthy supporter George Letham to help the club to continue trading until the end of the season.

And the League One champions' financial troubles were hit further last month when less than half of last year's 34,000 season tickets were renewed.

This followed a plea from Dave King, a director of oldco Rangers, who asked supporters to withhold season-book money and only hand over the cash to the club on a game-by-game basis while the current board was in place.

The South African-based businessman, who lost 20m when the oldco club went under two years ago, does not own shares in the newco and will not be part of the proposed share issue.

The board must now seek the authority to issue shares to selected investors after losing a special resolution at December's annual general meeting.

In a statement, the club said: "The Company does not currently have shareholder authority to issue shares on a non pre-emptive basis and authority from shareholders to do so, which would allow placements of shares with institutional investors, will be sought at the Company's AGM later this year, in line with the company's stated strategy."

Rangers kick off their campaign against fellow-Championship new boys Hearts at Ibrox this Sunday live on Sky Sports 1 from 1.00pm