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Rangers to Raise 27 Million Pounds in Initial Public Offering

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Rangers International Football Club Plc, the new owners of the 54-time Scottish soccer champion, plans to raise 27 million pounds ($43.5 million) by selling shares .

The shares, which have been priced at 70 pence each, will become publicly traded on Dec. 19 following the initial public offering, according to a filing with the London Stock Exchange Plc’s Alternative Investment Market.

Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle United in the English Premier League and founder of Sports Direct International Plc, is Rangers’ third-largest shareholder with a 9 percent stake. Chief Executive Officer Charles Green is the largest investor with 15 percent. The eight largest shareholders own almost 66 of the company, the filing showed.

Ashley’s holding would fall to 5.2 percent if no one buys shares in the public offering, while Green would remain the largest investor with 8.7 percent, the filing showed.

Their decreases come as the current investors bring in Hargreave Hale Ltd., a London-based stockbroker, and Artemis Investment Management LLP, an Edinburgh-based fund manager, which would be the largest institutional shareholders. Hargreave would own 8.6 percent and Artemis 7.4 percent respectively if there is no take-up of the offering.

The club anticipates a market capitalization of 50 million pounds if the public offering is fully taken up.

A group headed by Green bought the assets of Rangers Football Club Plc for 5.5 million pounds earlier this year after the company went into administration over disputed unpaid taxes. The old club later went into liquidation.

Rangers have won a record 54 Scottish soccer championships and more than 60 other trophies, including the European Cup-Winners Cup in 1972.

As part of Ashley’s investment in the club, Sports Direct, the largest U.K. sports-goods retailer, has an agreement to sell the club’s replica kit in its stores.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Woodifield in Edinburgh at pwoodifield@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Lytle at dlytle@bloomberg.net.

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