Middle-Eastern bank confirm Leeds takeover deal with Bates on way out
08:40 GMT, 27 September 2012
The Middle-Eastern investment bank, Gulf Finance House, have confirmed they have signed an exclusive agreement to lead a takeover of Championship side Leeds.
The financial future of the Elland Road club has been up in the air since Leeds, on June 26, revealed they had granted exclusivity to a potential investor.
Details remained thin on the ground after that, other than for the club to confirm the exclusivity period had ended, before, on Saturday, current owner Ken Bates broke his summer-long silence by admitting he was in talks with a group from the Middle East.
Getting what they wanted: Ken Bates is set to leave Leeds
Leaving: Bates has been at the club seven years
He entertained four businessmen in his box at the game against Nottingham Forest and on Thursday morning, in a letter released to the Bahrain Stock Exchange, GFH confirmed that one of their subsidiary companies, GFH capital, were the group operating on behalf of the potential purchasers.
The letter read: 'Further to the news published in the Gulf Daily News on the 25th and 26th Sep 2012, referring to the proposed acquisition of Leeds United Football Club (LUFC), GFH would like to confirm that GFH Capital Limited, a 100% subsidiary of Gulf Finance House, has signed an exclusive agreement to lead and arrange the acquisition of Leeds City Holdings, the parent company of LUFC.
'Due to a confidentially provision, no further details can be given about the commercial terms of the transaction.'
Any takeover of Leeds would end Bates' seven-year reign which has been largely dogged by supporter unrest.
Protests have regularly been staged against the former Chelsea owner for a perceived lack of investment.
There was no comment from the club on Thursday morning, although GFH did confirm to Sportsmail that the correspondence had come from them.
David Haigh, a Leeds fan, who is the deputy chief executive officer and chief operating officer of GFH Capital is thought to be the frontman of the takeover, but was also unavailable for comment.