Tom Hicks has kept his shareholding in Liverpool separate from his other sports assets in apparent fear of a collapse of the highly leveraged Premier League club. Digger has obtained a corporate flowchart detailing all of the sporting interests Hicks has held through his holding company, HSG Hicks Sports Group.
The chart was filed with a US court in bankruptcy proceedings against Texas Rangers, the Major League Baseball franchise that has now been sold by Hicks, in which the courts had invited Rangers' creditors to pursue other HSG assets.
That order could put at risk his stake in the Dallas Stars ice hockey team, as well as stakes in those organizations’' associated real estate operations, which sat alongside the Texas Rangers in HSG. Yet, curiously, Liverpool's ultimate parent company, Kop Investment LLC, is not listed among them.
It is not known precisely how his Kop shareholding is structured since that company has never met its statutory requirement to file an annual return. But Liverpool's ring-fencing out of HSG cannot have been for tax or legal reasons: Kop is registered in Delaware, the tax-friendly location where other Hicks investments are held.
A spokesman for Hicks did not return calls yesterday after Digger put it to him that the purpose of the separation was to prevent Liverpool's debts causing problems for other HSG assets. Despite their separation the dominoes have begun to fall.