Saudi eyes 50% stake in Liverpool

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A Saudi prince wants to buy half of Liverpool in a deal worth up to £350million, according to reports on Sunday.

Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud -- who chairs Saudi holding company Fama Group and the F6 sports investment firm -- was quoted by the Saudi Al-Riyadh newspaper as saying that "we are seeking, at present, to own a 50% stake in the club.

"The value of the transaction, which is nearing resolution, will be between £200million and £350million."

The comments come on the heels of an F6 statement released Saturday that said Prince Faisal had signed a memorandum of understanding with one of Liverpool's American co-owners, George Gillett Jr, as well as Richard Petty Motorsports.

Liverpool, which is owned by Mr Gillett and Tom Hicks, is about £245million in debt.

The American co-owners have been working to bring down Liverpool's debt, and the club's managing director said earlier this month that the US duo had paid £60million of the debt burden when the loan used to buy the club in 2007 expired in July.

Calls for comment from Fama Group were referred to F6, which sent a general statement about the investment deal with Mr Gillett.

If the deal with Prince Faisal goes through, it would mark the latest investment in British football by investors from the oil-rich Gulf region.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi's ruling family, bought Manchester City for an undisclosed sum a year ago, ending former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's control of the club.

Sulaiman al-Fahim, the Emirati businessman who helped broker the Manchester City takeover for Sheikh Mansour, has also taken control of Portsmouth.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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