At the end of our last episode, Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver was trying to buy Scotland’s Rangers because his three sons play on a team coached by former Rangers player Davie Robertson. Smirk all you want, but most things are bought for the dumbest of reasons, even if the purchase ultimately makes financial sense.
Sure, that probably isn’t the only reason Sarver showed interest in Rangers — he probably also ran some numbers, had a few of “his people” build (cut and paste) some financial models and talked to a few people (or just Davie) about why an investment in Rangers may be a better than an investment in a Premier League or bankrupt La Liga team. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, enough of the factors lined up and Sarver make a bid for Rangers. Sadly for Sarver and Davie, that bid was turned down.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning, the Rangers board confirmed that it rejected Sarver’s offer:
“The proposal by Mr. Sarver comprises a placing of 100 million shares at 18p [“Placing”] which, if approved by shareholders at a general meeting, would be immediately followed by an unconditional offer at 18p pursuant to Rule 9 of the Code. The Placing would give Mr. Sarver control of Rangers.
“While the Directors welcome Mr. Sarver’s approach, they believe that, notwithstanding the current financial difficulties, the proposal does not adequately value a controlling interest in the Company and accordingly the resolution to approve the placing is unlikely to achieve the 75 percent majority required.”
To be clear, from the face of the statement, Rangers didn’t reject Sarver because he may be a horrible owner. They rejected his bid because of his valuation of Rangers shares. If Sarver shows up again and makes an offer too good to refuse, the Rangers board has a legal duty to consider it. However, it still may still decide that he’s not the right person for the gig.
Ultimately, money speaks. Time will tell how much Sarver wants to be in the European football business with Rangers; or, rather, the price at which he thinks it’d be worthwhile. If this dance continues, we’ll also be able to tell if the Rangers board’s initial rejection was just a polite way of saying GTFOH.