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Bill Miller: Saviour or Sinner?


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Bill Miller: Saviour or Sinner? by JCS

Bill Miller the 64 year old, English born, American millionaire, who wants to buy Rangers, has described himself as a saviour.

However others, such as David Leggat and Alastair Johnston our former chairman, would vehemently disagree and would, perhaps, apply a less flattering sobriquet.

In one of David Leggat’s recent blogs he highlighted a legal action which was initiated against Bill Millar and his business associate Jon Pritchett in 2002, after a deal to establish a new national motor sport, Team Racing Auto Circuit (TRAC), collapsed amidst acrimony and recrimination.

Edward Garland, the attorney for his former colleagues, stated, "The Company and its directors thought they were getting an experienced CEO (Bill Miller) capable of completing the Company's team auto racing concept. Instead, it got a man full of greed who wanted control of the company for himself. As a result, we contend in the lawsuit that Team Sport's shareholders suffered market losses in excess of $50,000,000."

The law suit that followed, accused Miller and Pritchett of alleged breach of contract, wrongful conversion of Company monies, mismanagement, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. David Leggat lists them all in his blog.

However in his bullish response to these accusations Miller said, “Unfortunately, we discovered malfeasance (misconduct) from certain insiders so we resigned to get away from the scheme of those parties who controlled the board."

“After being sued by this group for untrue allegations, I counter sued and prevailed and had the company issue a public apology to me and Mr. Pritchett. Several of those people behind the suit are in federal prison for securities fraud.”

Despite my best efforts I can find no detailed record of the 2002 law suit by his erstwhile colleagues, nor any record of Bill Miller’s counter suit, and I understand that a number of the issues were eventually resolved without recourse to court action.

Other than the allegations above, I have been unable to discover any evidence of wrong doing, financial irregularity or illegality in respect of Bill Miller’s business dealings.

I did, however, unearth details of an law suit brought against Bill Miller and his company Miller Industries in October 1997 by a group of stockholders charging that Miller himself, along with several of his officers, had disseminated false financial information and statements about the company's growth in order to sell stock.

Miller responded forcefully, saying, "I am outraged by these allegations. We will defend ourselves vigorously and prove that they are without merit. In the meantime, our shareholders should be assured that our accounting practices and disclosure policies have been and continue to be absolutely proper and are intended to deliver the most accurate and meaningful information to the public."

He did indeed, defend himself vigorously and after a protracted 3 year legal battle he was absolved of any wrong doing and found innocent of all charges.

A subsequent judgement by the Federal District Court in Atlanta in July 1998 ruled that the allegations were “without a sufficient basis to present a legitimate issue for trial”, and held that the complainants had failed to present any meaningful evidence relating to the alleged charges.

Finally, in November 2000, Miller was finally notified that the Tennessee Supreme Court had denied further actions, and this ruling terminated the shareholder suit brought in the Tennessee courts.

Miller stated, "I'm pleased that finally after more than three years the Judges in both the federal and state courts by their rulings have vindicated the senior management of Miller Industries. This is a management team that has maintained the highest level of integrity and dedication while serving this company and its shareholders since it became a public company in 1994 and I'm happy to see the record has finally been set straight."

I have unearthed no evidence to suggest that his statement is anything other than a true and accurate record of what took place.

It is also true to say that Bill Miller is held in high regard by fellow businessmen and industrialists in the USA, and his company, Miller Industries, is considered to be “a business, handled well”, and one that investors “should definitely take a look at”.

His company is clearly considered to be “an industry leader that almost nobody seems to know about.”

Nevertheless, David Leggat continues to refer to Bill Miller as “a Yankee diddle-not-so-dandy version of the conman, huckster and trickster, Craig Whyte.”

I am not convinced that David Leggat and Alastair Johnston have any basis for referring to Bill Miller as a ‘shady’ person who has been involved in ‘shadowy deals’ and I have found no evidence to support such a claim.

Why, I wonder, does he say this? Is it that he is so inextricably linked with the Paul Murray led Blue Knights bid that he feels he must discredit any other bidder? An accusation that he makes against Clark and Whitehouse in respect of their apparent antipathy toward Paul Murray and the Blue Knights!

I don’t have the answer to that question, but I have found nothing to suggest that Bill Miller is a conman, huckster and trickster!

It is true that Miller has no track record in soccer, and that his bid for Rangers has 'come out of left field', but does that invalidate his bid. Does it make him any more or less a 'risk' than the Paul Murray led Blue Knights or Bill Ng who ‘heads up’ the bid from Singapore?

In a recent interview Miller said, “I have a knack for seeing what the future can be for a troubled business. It is what I did for the towing industry. I believe my plans are the best for the club’s long-term success. I would not be interested if I did not have the best interests of the fans, team and club at heart. My view is to save the club, put it on a stable footing (making profits and not losing money so it qualifies for UEFA) and ensure it can have a strong future to match its history.”

Fine words and laudable objectives, but we’ve heard it all before from Craig Whyte and others.

Given our recent experience, I think we deserve a more substantial demonstration of Bill Miller’s bona fides and, indeed, those of Bill Ng.

It was reported that Miller was evasive when asked about his plans for Rangers, and that will inevitably ring a few alarm bells. It is imperative that we know of his plans to rescue Rangers, and how he intends to exit administration through the CVA route.

I think we also need to know why a successful American businessman with no links to our Club or any track record in football wishes to risk his millions in this way.

It is crucial that he also provides details of his personal wealth and his financial and sporting strategy for the club.

In the absence of this information how can we credibly assess his bid? However, my immediate concern now is who will ask him these questions?

If I share one concern with David Leggat, it is his skepticism about the motives of the Duff and Phelps two, Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, and the covert manner in which they appear to be analysing the three bids.

If they are to meaningfully fulfil their role and remit as administrators – and, of course, the due diligence that the process demands – then they must, not only, ask those questions of Bill Miller and Bill Ng but also share their answers with the supporters. We have a right to know.

Let’s have the answers to the fundamental questions posed above. Let Bill Miller, Bill Ng and the Duff & Phelps Two deal with all of our requests for information openly and honestly – that is all we ask.

They have an opportunity to do so through the good offices of Ally McCoist, a man, and a legend, in whom we are happy to place our trust.

In the meantime I will keep my own counsel and resist the temptation to condemn Bill Miller or Bill Ng on the basis of media and internet speculation, innuendo, and sensationalism – may I respectfully suggest that you do so too.

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My preference is for the blue knights simply because I think we need to play it safe with what we know, I don't however see the administrators granting them prefered bidder status judging by their comments and I think this Bill Miller fella will get the nod.

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I spent a day on the internet researching Bill Miller and Bill Ng. As with the OP, I found nothing untoward regarding Bill Miller. There were the two cases mentioned in the OP but as is noted, both were rejected by Miller and dismissed by the legal system. The guy turned around the tow truck industry bigtime. His company makes money. He has good, well-known trade names one of which is in the UK.

I believe the reason he tried to get into a motor sport venture was due to his company's involvement in vehicle racing where his tow trucks remove the crashed vehicles at events.

Miller Industries has a good name in the USA and I only found positive reports.

There is less to be found (at least by me) regarding Bill Ng in Singapore. He has apparently done well with his football club out there and again has a good reputation in business in general. I didn't find anything negative about him. As for supporting Rangers, perhaps it is true. Maybe he did develop a soft spot for the Gers years ago. Having "No Surrender" on his club's scarves does appear to be a bit more than coincidence.

It would be advantageous for the supporters in general and our 26,000 minority shareholders in particular, to be given more information from both these camps and the Blue Knights. It is well nigh impossible to judge any bid based on the dearth of information available to us at this juncture. If the general public are to be kept in the dark, surely shareholders should be informed at the very least.

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Have concerns over miller's links with ellis and regardless of the recent ellis case against whyte there may well prove to be a link back to whyte. Could ellis be puting this case forward to try and influence the admins, making the miller bid seem more viable due to ellis involvement already.

Tends to put me off this bid with what limited information is available. Don't like Murray involvement with ticketus so I guess more by default than anything else leaves me in the bid from singapore camp, I think. :unsure:

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I spent a day on the internet researching Bill Miller and Bill Ng. As with the OP, I found nothing untoward regarding Bill Miller. There were the two cases mentioned in the OP but as is noted, both were rejected by Miller and dismissed by the legal system. The guy turned around the tow truck industry bigtime. His company makes money. He has good, well-known trade names one of which is in the UK.

I believe the reason he tried to get into a motor sport venture was due to his company's involvement in vehicle racing where his tow trucks remove the crashed vehicles at events.

Miller Industries has a good name in the USA and I only found positive reports.

There is less to be found (at least by me) regarding Bill Ng in Singapore. He has apparently done well with his football club out there and again has a good reputation in business in general. I didn't find anything negative about him. As for supporting Rangers, perhaps it is true. Maybe he did develop a soft spot for the Gers years ago. Having "No Surrender" on his club's scarves does appear to be a bit more than coincidence.

It would be advantageous for the supporters in general and our 26,000 minority shareholders in particular, to be given more information from both these camps and the Blue Knights. It is well nigh impossible to judge any bid based on the dearth of information available to us at this juncture. If the general public are to be kept in the dark, surely shareholders should be informed at the very least.

Pleased you mentioned mini, for all the press/media he has been involved with, he really doesn't say much.I am a fan...I want a cva..I have Ticketus on my side.I have the fans on my side.

Yet really nothing about where his money is coming from and what happens if his share issue fails. what then.

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Pleased you mentioned mini, for all the press/media he has been involved with, he really doesn't say much.I am a fan...I want a cva..I have Ticketus on my side.I have the fans on my side.

Yet really nothing about where his money is coming from and what happens if his share issue fails. what then.

I suspect they get Rangers to borrow the money and underwrite it for them. All the while blaming the fans for not supporting the share issue.

TBK get the club, Rangers gets the bill and the fans get the blame.

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I suspect they get Rangers to borrow the money and underwrite it for them. All the while blaming the fans for not supporting the share issue.

TBK get the club, Rangers gets the bill and the fans get the blame.

But he along with our number 1 fan slashed our debt when they were on the board. Mini would never do that, he is a man of the peoplerolleyes.gif

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