By Nick Harris
20 August 2010
Confusion continues to surround the putative bid for Liverpool by the New York-based businessman, Kenny Huang, after reports that the former Chelsea chief executive, Peter Kenyon, has been acting as an advisor to Mr Huang for several months. There have also been mixed reports about the ongoing involvement (or not) of one of Huang’s business associates, Chicago-based Marc Ganis.
It has also been rumoured that Mr Huang will release a statement at some stage today clarifying his situation in relation to Liverpool, following reports that he is unhappy with the Liverpool board’s handling of the sale process.
Amid many contradictory briefings and statements emanating from China, Hong Kong, London and the USA, Mr Huang himself and / or people confirmed to represent him have made relatively few on-the-record statements.
4 August: STATEMENT ISSUED ON BEHALF OF KENNY HUANG
(by Hill & Knowlton)
“In response to widespread media reports that Kenny Huang had made a formal bid for Liverpool Football Club, Mr. Huang would like to emphasize that he has registered interest in investing in Liverpool FC but has made no formal bid. There has been much speculation and commentary from a wide array of people, many of whom have little knowledge of the facts. Unless there is a statement that specifically comes from Mr. Huang or his authorized representatives, which presently is solely Hill & Knowlton Hong Kong office, we would suggest such comments should be given little credence. At this point in time there is nothing further for Mr. Huang to announce. If there comes a time where this changes, we will make the appropriate announcements.”
Later on 4 August: STATEMENT FROM KENNETH HUANG REGARDING LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB
(Sent from Mr Huang’s own mobile phone, to Chinese media)
“With reference to the recent media reports regarding Mr Huang’s investment interest in Liverpool Football Club, Mr Huang would like to emphasize that he is not able to offer any comment at this stage. Mr Huang would also like to deny that there is any involvement of Mainland China state-owned enterprises in his business dealings. If there is any related development, he will make a further announcement.”
Agnes Suen, spokesperson for Kenny Huang, speaking on his behalf from the Hong Kong office of Hill & Knowlton
“We will not confirm or deny any matter associated with the Liverpool Football Club unless and until we and the representatives of Liverpool FC have chosen to do so jointly.”
From Marc Ganis, Huang’s long-term business associate in SportsCorp China
“Among the most important points I have tried to get out, either directly or through Kenny’s releases, is that no proposal [in relation to a Liverpool bid] has been made and no decision to offer a proposal has been made.”
This was part of a longer explanatory statement from Mr Ganis to this website. Mr Ganis had also spoken on the record to the AP news agency in an interview arranged by Hill & Knowlton, and to at least one British newspaper.
Kenny Huang talked about Liverpool, on the record and at length, with a magazine that he owns in China. The original interview in Chinese is here. In the interview, Huang talked about the strength of his rival bidders’ offers, although it is not clear how he would know detailed information about these rivals. Huang also rated his chances of buying Liverpool at 50 per cent.
It is not known when or if Kenny Huang has signed a confidentiality agreement with Liverpool.
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