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Court case rumbles on, but Peter Lim loses interest

Liverpool bidders New England Sports Ventures (NESV) have claimed they are the club's new owners, in a High Court case contesting Tom Hicks and George Gillett's attempt to block the sale, on Thursday.

Hicks and Gillett had been accused of "outrageous" behaviour during the case after they tried to thwart orders allowing the club to be sold, by gaining an injunction in a Texas court on Wednesday evening.

Hicks secured a temporary restraining order from a Texas court yesterday after Mr Justice Floyd had rejected attempts by him and business partner Gillett to stand in the way of the sale of the club to NESV in a ruling which should have left them helpless to intervene.

But five minutes before a board meeting last night in London, the last ditch intervention by the American owners meant more court action was necessary.

RBS, the club's main creditor, returned to the High Court this afternoon seeking anti-suit injunctions to nullify decisions taken in the court in Dallas.

Richard Snowden QC said they had been forced to act because of "extraordinary events" following the High Court ruling.

He said: "The Texas court seems to have been told remarkably little about the proceedings in this court."

Snowden also added the US court had allowed an injunction to stop RBS exercising its right to recall its loan.

"This is the most outrageous abuse of process," he said.

"The proceedings in Texas are plainly inappropriate. This dispute involves an English football club and three English companies and has no connection with Texas other than that Hicks and Gillett may reside there.

"It is a plain attempt to frustrate and impede the proceedings."

Snowden added that, while the case was unfolding on Thursday afternoon at the High Court, Hicks and Gillett were in Texas applying for an order that Wednesday's meeting of the Liverpool board was "a contempt of the Texas court".

Earlier in the day, Singapore businessman Peter Lim had withdrawn his £320 million offer for the club, with a further £40m available for transfers in January.

Lim complained his bid had not even been considered, with the board announcing last week they had chosen the NESV bid.

"It has become clear to me that the board is intent on selling the club to New England Sports Ventures to the exclusion of all other parties, regardless of the merits of their bids. In these circumstances, I am not able to proceed with my intention to acquire the club," Lim said in a statement.

The case continues...

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