Chattanooga-based Miller Industries chief may buy broke soccer team

Chattanooga-based Miller Industries chief may buy broke soccer team

April 7th, 2012 by Ellis Smith in News

Bill Miller of Miller Industries Contributed Photo

Bill Miller, chairman of Miller Industries, is in talks to buy a bankrupt Scottish soccer team, according to the BBC and other news outlets.

Chattanooga-based Miller Industries is a leading manufacturer of tow trucks.

Through an intermediary, Miller's son declined to comment on the sale.

Though Miller himself is reportedly "not a big soccer fan," he has a history of turning around troubled enterprises, the Glasgow-based Herald reported. Previous sports ventures include a failed racing league called the Team Racing Auto Circuit that was designed to compete with NASCAR.

Including Miller's bid, the 140-year-old Rangers have received three offers to rescue the team from a reported $212.7 million in debt, according to news reports.

After an initial offer as part of a 12-man Chicago consortium fell through, Miller pushed forward with the deal along with a handful of the original group, according to the Daily Record, also Glasgow-based.

Miller formed Miller Industries in April 1990 and employs 760 workers who make tow trucks under a number of brands. The company earned $23 million in 2011 on $412 million in sales, according to Miller Industries' annual report.

Miller himself owns nearly 3 percent of the company, or about $5 million in stock.

In addition to its headquarters and manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Miller Industries also has facilities in Greeneville, Tenn.; Hermitage and Mercer, Pa.; Thetford, England; and Revigny, France.