Singapore’s Lim ups offer for Liverpool to $507M

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SINGAPORE (AP) - Singapore billionaire Peter Lim raised his offer for Premier League club Liverpool to 320 million pounds ($507 million) on Tuesday, with an additional 40 million pounds to buy new players.

Lim said that as part of the offer he would pay off 200 million pounds of the club’s debt. Lim had previously offered 300 million pounds for the club.

“I am committed to rebuild the club,” Lim said in a statement. “I believe that if its massive debt burden can be removed, the club would be able to focus on improving its performance on the pitch.”

The 57-year-old Lim said he would not need any financing to fund his offer and that all the money would come from his cash reserves. Liverpool, which won the last of its 18 English league titles in 1990, is off to its worst start to a season since 1953 and is mired in the relegation zone.

“I will be injecting 40 million pounds in cash into the club for (manager) Roy Hodgson to bring in new players during the upcoming transfer window,” Lim said. “Liverpool needs to start winning again.”

Royal Bank of Scotland, which holds the bulk of Liverpool’s debt, is trying to force through the sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures, the owners of the Boston Red Sox, over the objection of current American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr.

The case was being heard in London’s High Court on Tuesday.

The son of a fish dealer, Lim graduated with a degree in accounting and finance from the University of Western Australia, and became a stockbroker in the 1980s for wealthy Indonesian clients.

Most of his fortune comes from his 5 percent ownership of Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader. Lim bought the stake in the early 1990s for $10 million and it’s now worth about $1.5 billion.

Lim became a private investor in 1996 and is the second-largest stakeholder in clothing retailer FJ Benjamin. He also has large stakes in education and logistics companies, a restaurant and real estate.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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