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Ticketus lodge £27m legal claim against Rangers owner Craig Whyte

Ticketus has launched a legal claim against Craig Whyte over £27m owed to the firm by Glasgow Rangers Football Club.

Octopus Investments owns Ticketus, a London-based firm which provided Rangers with “working capital” in exchange for future season ticket sales through its protected EIS.

Ticketus claims Whyte gave personal guarantees in connection with the four-year deal which is thought to be worth around £24m.

On February 14, Rangers entered administration as a result of a tax dispute with HM Revenue and Customs. It is thought the club’s total debt could reach £134m.

According to a report by administrators the company is owed £26.7m.

According to BBC Scotland, documents from a previous court case showed Ticketus had made two payments to Rangers, one in May last year and one in September, which were worth more than £30m when VAT was added.

On February 14, Rangers entered administration as a result of a tax dispute with HM Revenue and Customs. It is thought the club’s total debt could reach £134m.

In February, Glasgow Rangers’ administrators Duff & Phelps said it was unclear on the whereabouts of £24m advanced from Ticketus to Rangers’ account.

It later clarified that £18m of £24m advanced had been accounted for and was used to pay off Rangers’ debt to Lloyds Banking Group when the club was taken over by current owner Craig Whyte last May.

Whyte’s finance company, Liberty Capital, which owns a 10.8 per cent stake in Merchant Capital and is registered in the British Virgin islands, also faces action as part of the legal claim.

A statement from the firm said “Ticketus today confirms that it has made demand pursuant to the guarantees provided by Craig Whyte and The Rangers FC Group Limited, formerly named Wavetower Limited.

“In addition, demand will be made against Liberty Capital Limited.

“These guarantees form part of the additional protection built into the ticket purchase agreement that Ticketus made with the club in May 2011.”

AWD Chase de Vere and St James’s Place have both said they have a small number of clients invested in the Octopus protected EIS caught up in the Glasgow Rangers’ administration.

Ticketus pulled out of discussions with the Blue Knight’s Consortium over a deal to buy Glasgow Rangers Football Club in April.

Ticketus said it was unable to finalise satisfactory terms of agreement for its investors with the Blue Knights around restructuring its ticket purchase agreement.

Rangers’ administartors announced on Sunday that the Club is being taken over by a consortium headed by former Sheffield United boss Charles Green. Green has secured, via a substantial financial commitment, a period of exclusivity to complete the purchase of the Club and this is expected to be finalised at a creditors’ meeting on June 6.

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