Administrators Duff & Phelps have confirmed that money from a ticket firm owned by the Octopus Investments protected EIS has been accounted for and was used by Rangers owner Craig Whyte to complete his takeover of the club.
Octopus Investments owns Ticketus, a London-based firm which provided Rangers with “working capital” in exchange for future season ticket sales. Last week, Glasgow Rangers’ administrators Duff & Phelps said it was unclear on the whereabouts of £24m advanced from Ticketus to the Rangers’ account.
However, the administrator has released a further statement today suggesting that £18m of the money has been accounted for and was used to pay off Rangers’ debt to Lloyds Banking Group when the club was taken over by current owner Whyte last May . “The application of the remainder of these proceeds is subject to further examination,” says the administrator.
It adds: “We are now investigating all the circumstances surrounding both the purchase of the majority shareholding in Rangers Football Club plc and the flow of funds which stemmed from the transaction and were intended to fulfil the purchasers’ obligations at the time of the sale.”
In a statement in the press, Rangers owner Craig Whyte says: “The Ticketus deal was by far the best way to protect the club given the circumstances in that they have no security over any assets.
“The only person at risk from the deal is me personally because I gave Ticketus personal and corporate guarantees underwriting their investment; the club and the fans are fully protected. In terms of exposure, I am personally on the line for £27.5m in guarantees and cash.”
Last week, Octopus issued a statement saying that Ticketus is just one of a number of companies the Octopus EIS invests in. It added that Ticketus is the owner of the tickets and that Octopus is continuing to work with administrators and Rangers on the matter.