DLA, Freshfields go head-to-head on Liverpool FC bid

DLA Piper’s Liverpool office has confirmed its status as Liverpool Football Club’s external advisers of choice, advising it in its talks about a possible £450m takeover by Dubai International Capital.

DLA’s Liverpool-based North-West corporate group chair Michael Prince, who has advised the club since David Moore’s takeover, is working closely with club chief executive Rick Parry on the discussions.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is advising Dubai International Capital, the investment arm of the Dubai royal family that has become a key client over the past 12 months.

Freshfields, through private equity global co-head Chris Bown and Dubai-based corporate partner Bruce Embley, has previously advised the investor on its £675m acquisition of Travelodge in August, and the £700m acquisition of specialist engineering group Doncasters in December 2005.

If the talks prove successful, the acquisition would see Liverpool FC become the seventh Premiership football club to come under foreign ownership including Manchester United, which was bought by the US Glazer family and Chelsea, owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.