Craig Whyte's Rangers offer seemed 'viable proposition', court told

24 April 2017, 15:33

Craig Whyte

Craig Whyte's offer to buy Rangers Football Club seemed to be a "viable proposition'', a court has heard.

Jurors also heard that Whyte told club chiefs he would use his own money to fund the acquisition.

Former Rangers owner Whyte is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow, where he is accused of acquiring the club fraudulently in May 2011.

Whyte faces two charges relating to the purchase of Rangers, one of fraud and another under the Companies Act. He denies both allegations.

Donald McIntyre, 58, Rangers' finance director at the time in question, told the second day of evidence in the trial that he believed the board was informed in November or December of 2010 that Whyte "had in interest in acquiring the club''.

This appeared to be different from other previous expressions of interest, the court heard.

"It seemed a more viable proposition,'' Mr McIntyre told the court.

Asked what he would be looking for in a potential purchaser, Mr McIntyre said: "We would be looking for someone with the wherewithal and financial background to take the club forward. That was crucial.''

He told how an independent committee was formed to look at Whyte's proposed offer and to ensure minority shareholders were treated fairly.

The court heard Whyte ultimately bought the club's majority shareholding for £1.

The purchaser would also have to pay £18 million to Lloyds Bank, a creditor of Rangers, and a further £9.5 million for a "small tax case'' and for buying players, the court heard.

The witness said he first met Whyte at a solicitors' office in Glasgow in March 2011.

Several other board members were present at the gathering to "find out a bit more about Mr Whyte''.

The way the purchase was to be funded came up at that meeting, the jury heard.

Mr McIntyre said: "At the meeting I think the question was asked, where the funds were coming from. I believe Mr Whyte said that the money was coming from himself.''

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