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Rangers Lose Preferred Bidder as Miller Drops Offer for Team

May 8 (Bloomberg) -- American Bill Miller, the preferred bidder for Rangers Football Club Plc, withdrew his bid for the Glasgow soccer team after finding its preliminary financial statements were “more optimistic than reality.”

The Tennessee businessman was made the preferred bidder earlier this month by Duff & Phelps, the administrators for the team, which is in a form of bankruptcy. Today, in a statement to the U.K.’s Press Association, Miller said he would withdraw from the process after several days of looking at the 54-time Scottish champion’s accounts.

“It became clear to me that preliminary information, discussions and analysis were, unfortunately, more optimistic than reality,” Miller said in the statement. “Having no intention of negatively affecting the potential outcome of the club’s future and after hearing the message from Rangers supporters and fans loud and clear (‘‘Yank go home!’’), I notified the administrators today that I have withdrawn my bid for Rangers and will not be moving forward.”

Rangers went into administration, a form of bankruptcy, on Feb. 14, owing creditors as much as 134 million pounds ($216 million), including more than 93 million pounds owed to the U.K. authorities in two tax disputes and other unpaid taxes.

“We have been informed by his advisers that there were a number of issues with which he felt uncomfortable including legacy contracts, the limitation of potential revenue streams and the expectation of required investment,” the administrators said today in a statement. They said three other bidders are interested in buying the team.

Miller, whose company is the world’s biggest maker of tow trucks, wanted to finish the takeover by the end of the season.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Farrand in Edinburgh at tfarrand@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tim Farrand at tfarrand@bloomberg.net

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