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Volume 6 No. 212


Scottish Third Division club Rangers is "aiming to raise" up to £27M ($44M) when it returns to the stock market this month, according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. The funds would "help to support the recovery of Rangers," which have been Scottish champions a record 54 times. They are now "playing in the lowly fourth tier of the Scottish game after their former parent company collapsed earlier this year." Rangers disclosed that EPL Newcastle United and retail chain Sports Direct Owner Mike Ashley has a stake of almost 9% in the club as part of its new ownership team. The club said that it anticipated a market capitalization of around £50M ($80.5M) upon flotation. The details were given in a document filed as "part of the process leading up to the market launch" (REUTERS, 12/5). In London, the BBC writes the flotation, according to the document, is "attracting investment from Hargreave Hale Limited, Artemis Investment Management LLP, Margarita Funds Holding Trust, Cazenove Capital Management Limited, Legal and General Investment Management Limited and Insight Investment Management (Global) Limited." Other investors include Richard Hughes, Imran Ahmad and Craig Mather (BBC, 12/5).

League Championship club Bristol City has revealed a club-record loss of £14.4M ($23.2M) for the financial year ending in May, a rise of more than £3M ($4.8M) on last year's results. The Robins, currently two points off the foot of the Championship, now have a wage bill of £18.6M ($30M), and Chair Keith Dawe is aware of what needs to be done to make sure the club is ready for the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations in '14-15. Dawe said, "The financial results for the year ended May 31, 2012 once again reflect a disappointing and difficult year for the club. The loss illustrates how much work is required to reduce costs and grow our income in order to comply with the new FFP regulations, brought in by the Football League" (Bristol City).

Nike is fighting Chinese trademark authorities to win rights to use the Mandarin name of Olympic hurdler Liu Xiang in its marketing, "the latest in a spate of trademark disputes emerging as Western companies try to build their brands in China," according to Laurie Burkitt of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The Trademark Appeal Board has previously denied Nike's trademark application, saying that the rights still belong to Chinese garment maker Shanghai Liuxiang Industrial Ltd. Co. A Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court spokesperson said that now, Nike is suing China's Trademark Appeal Board of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce to use the name. The spokesperson noted that the court heard the case last week "but has not yet made a ruling." Nike's dispute is "the latest in a growing list of court cases that have emerged over the past year over trademarks, underscoring the challenges of branding, naming rights and trademarks in China." While the Chinese government is "often criticized for its lack of intellectual-property rights enforcement, the country's own intellectual property laws are known to be so broad that they may prevent worldwide sales of products that are made in China and violate Chinese trademark laws and patent protections" (WSJ, 12/5). In Beijing, Hao Nan noted Nike's lawyer told the court that "even before Liu became famous, the company signed a contract with him that authorized commercial use of his name and image." The company already has "liuxiang" and "LX" approved as trademarks but lacks the rights to the Chinese characters of his name (CHINA DAILY, 12/5).