Tag Archives: exclusivity

Leeds owner Ken Bates admits investment talks are at "advanced stage"

Leeds chief Bates admits investment talks are at 'advanced stage'

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UPDATED:

13:19 GMT, 22 September 2012

In talks: Bates has shed light on proposed investment in the club

In talks: Bates has shed light on proposed investment in the club

Leeds owner Ken Bates has shed light on the proposed investment in the club by revealing details of who they are in negotiations with for the first time and also adding that talks are at an 'advanced stage'.

The Championship outfit originally said they were in exclusive discussions with unnamed investors on June 26, but since then little has happened to appease fans who have grown increasingly disgruntled with a perceived lack of investment from 80-year-old Bates.

All the club had said prior to today was that the exclusivity period was over and that talks remained ongoing, but in a statement released this afternoon, Bates confirmed that he has been negotiating with a banking institution who are a limited company and have interests across the Gulf, Asia and Africa.

Four of their representatives from Bahrain were present at Elland Road today ahead of Leeds' clash with Nottingham Forest, and Bates said: 'We're well advanced with discussions.

Out of favour: Leeds supporters make their feelings known earlier this month

Out of favour: Leeds supporters made their feelings known earlier this month

Football League blog

'There's a number of finer points to be resolved, but we're making good progress. We had four of the top people over here for a big meeting on Friday and they are at our game on Saturday.

'The potential investors are looking to conclude things as soon as possible. Both parties regret missing the August transfer deadline, but we are planning for the January transfer window.'

It still remains unclear whether or not the investors will be completing a full takeover of the club that Bates took control of in 2004, but the current school of thought is that the former Chelsea owner will remain with Leeds in some capacity.

He has rarely been popular with United's supporters since that day, and his overseeing of their relegation to League One and a subsequent 15-point deduction for financial matters did little to help that, but levels of unrest have grown over recent months, with regular protests being staged against his continued ownership.

And, seemingly in a bid to pacify some of his critics regarding the lengthy delay in investment talks, he added: 'The confidentiality agreements that were put in place are very important to the investors.

'They are a banking institution and a Public Company and not only can speculation affect their share price, they are also governed by heavy banking regulations. They also have interests across the Gulf, Asia, and Africa.

'They are using London lawyers and there has been some logistical issues, but we have discussed things at length and agreed that we can make certain things public.

'Since we signed the agreement in June – and told people what we had done – there has been a lot of speculation and agitation, especially by the Leeds United Supporters Trust, and I have to tell people that a lot of the statements that have come out are inaccurate.'

Leeds takeover talks continuing – Ken Bates

Slowly but surely: Bates confirms Leeds takeover talks are continuing

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UPDATED:

18:43 GMT, 18 September 2012

Leeds remain the subject of a takeover bid but it is only progressing slowly, according to chairman Ken Bates.

The Elland Road club announced on June 26 they had entered an exclusivity period with potential investors but 84 days later, the situation remains unresolved.

Leeds have only released a statement to confirm that the exclusivity period had ended but talks remain on going.

In talks: Ken Bates confirmed Leeds are the subject of a takeover bid

In talks: Ken Bates confirmed Leeds are the subject of a takeover bid

And 80-year-old Bates said: 'Despite the confidentiality agreement, stories keep appearing with varying degrees of accuracy as evidenced by the statements put out by LUST (Leeds United Supporters Trust).

'That included a TV interview that said a deal was 'imminent'. It wasn't then and is progressing slowly now. In football everybody expects everything now – but the real world is different.'

Writing in the club programme ahead of Tuesday's clash with Hull, Bates added: 'The current situation is that as I write, the appropriate documents have not been finalised between the lawyers.'

In charge: Leeds manager Neil Warnock hopes to win promotion

In charge: Leeds manager Neil Warnock hopes to win promotion

GFH Capital, who are working on the deal on behalf of a Middle Eastern consortium, have sent representatives to one of United's games this season but have not made any comment on the nature of the talks.

Disgruntled Leeds fans have arranged a protest against Bates, who they accuse of putting off-field investments before the purchase of players, ahead of and during Tuesday's game.

Abramovich outbid for Battersea Power Station stadium site as Chelsea search for new home

Power failure: Abramovich outbid for Battersea stadium site as Chelsea search for new home

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UPDATED:

10:02 GMT, 7 June 2012

Chelsea have failed in their bid to build a new stadium at Battersea Power Station.

In May the Blues revealed that they had submitted an application to move to the 39-acre site in Wandsworth, but administrators revealed this morning that a joint bid by two Malaysian companies – SP Setia and Sime Darby – had been chosen instead.

Failed: Chelsea's bid to build a new Battersea stadium has been ended

Failed: Chelsea's bid to build a new Battersea stadium has been ended

A statement from Ernst & Young read: 'Following an extensive global marketing campaign, undertaken by Ernst & Young Real Estate Corporate Finance and Knight Frank LLP, the Joint Administrators are pleased to announce that on Wednesday 6 June 2012 they entered into an exclusivity agreement with SP Setia and Sime Darby and are working towards a timely exchange and completion of the site and associated land.'

The European champions are considering moving away from their Stamford Bridge home as their current capacity of around 42,000 is preventing them from bringing in the kind of matchday revenue enjoyed by the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United, who have much bigger stadiums.

Chelsea revealed in plans last month that they intended to transform the Grade II listed building on the south bank of the River Thames in to 'one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world'.

Disappointed: Roman Abramovich will not be impressed

Disappointed: Roman Abramovich will not be impressed

Their plan for Battersea was to develop it into a 60,000-seater ground that included the power station's four chimneys.

When they released their plans, Chelsea insisted that they had definitely not committed themselves to leaving Stamford Bridge, although they also claimed it was not economically viable to redevelop their current west London home.

The Blues have also been linked with other sites in south-west London.
SP Setia and Sime Derby revealed in a release to the Malaysian stock exchange this morning that their 400million 'multi-use real estate regeneration project' bid had been successful.

They also plan to build a tube station on the premises that will connect to the Northern Line.

Home sweet home: Chelsea currently play at Stamford Bridge

Home sweet home: Chelsea currently play at Stamford Bridge

A 28-day period of due diligence will now follow, but the hopes Chelsea had of relocating to the site of one of London's most iconic landmarks are seemingly over.

Last October the fans' group who own the freehold of Stamford Bride, Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO), rejected an offer from the club's owner Roman Abramovich, to buy their shares.

CPO shareholders have accused Chelsea of failing to fully explore the prospect of revamping Stamford Bridge, while Hammersmith and Fulham Council have disputed the club's claims that doing so would be far more expensive that moving.

Brian Kennedy: Rangers must accept Blue Knights" offer for Friday

Take it or leave it! Kennedy hands Rangers Friday deadline for Blue Knights' offer

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UPDATED:

08:08 GMT, 11 May 2012

Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy has warned Rangers' administrators they must accept the Blue Knights' offer for the club on Friday or they will walk away.

Kennedy has reportedly struck a deal with Craig Whyte to acquire his 85 per cent shareholding and will now push Duff and Phelps to name a bidder.

Saga continues: Crisis club Rangers are still yet to finalise a takeover deal

Saga continues: Crisis club Rangers are still yet to finalise a takeover deal

The Blue Knights were previously offered preferred bidder status but former partners Ticketus would not pay the exclusivity fee and they were then beaten by Bill Miller, who withdrew on Tuesday.

Kennedy told the Daily Record they were now at the 'end of the road'.

'If
our bid is not accepted in the next few hours then, most reluctantly,
we will have to withdraw from the process by lunchtime,' he said. 'Let
me be absolutely clear. This is not brinkmanship or an empty threat.

'We
have a plan to save this club but my lawyers, Walker Morris, have
advised me it will not be possible to execute a CVA unless, on Saturday
morning, we begin working, full-time and flat out on due diligence and
documentation.

Ultimatum: Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy

Ultimatum: Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy

'Any later than that and our plan cannot be delivered with any legal certainty.

'For that reason we'll be forced to withdraw our offer today and neither I nor any member of the Blue Knights consortium will be left as the last man standing.'

Duff and Phelps last night announced Whyte had struck a deal with two groups, with one understood to be a group with experience of running clubs in the top two levels of English football.

Joint administrator Paul Clark said: 'We have continued discussions today with the parties remaining in the bidding process and good progress has been made.

'We can also confirm that Craig Whyte has confirmed that he will transfer his shareholding in Rangers Football Club to two of the parties and has indicated he would not be an impediment to a sale of the club.

'We will issue a further update for supporters and can say that every effort is being made to conclude the sale of the club as quickly as possible.'

According to Duff and Phelps, three potential ownership groups emerged in the wake of Miller's withdrawal to rival the Blue Knights, whose offer was conditional on acquiring Whyte's 85 per cent shareholding.

Like the Knights, the English-based consortium are understood to favour exiting administration through a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

American consortium interested in Silverstone takeover

Silverstone takeover saga to drag on as American consortium re-enter race

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UPDATED:

10:25 GMT, 4 May 2012

An American consortium are back in the running to take over the long-term lease of Silverstone race track.

The New York-based group, which is working with partners including Richard Branson's Virgin Group, is set to meet with the British Racing Drivers' Club next week.

A Qatari-backed consortium had been been expected to be confirmed as the new lease holders but that deal is reported to have fallen through.

Saga: The takeover of Silverstone looks set to drag on for some time

Saga: The takeover of Silverstone looks set to drag on for some time

The BRDC released a
statement on Thursday saying the period of exclusivity was over and it was
keen to speak to interested parties, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Although the BRDC claims negotiations with its preferred bidder remain positive, it is rumoured that the Qataris have walked away from the deal.

The American consortium, financed by New York-based Guggenheim Partners and working under the name Project Penelope, are set to meet the BRDC and its advisors and book runners PricewaterhouseCoopers to talk over their vision for Silverstone.

Home: Silverstone will host the British Grand Prix this summer

Home: Silverstone will host the British Grand Prix this summer

The group will bid for a 150-year lease with the opportunity to develop Silverstone and the surrounding land. The Americans may however lower their offer, having lodged a bid of 2.5million per year last summer.

The BRDC insisted once again on Thursday that it did not need a partner to continue the redevelopment.

'With or without any investment, the long-term futures of both Silverstone and the British Grand Prix are absolutely secure,' chairman Stuart Rolt said.

'If we cannot find a suitable partner, we shall continue with the development ourselves, albeit at a slower pace.'

Rangers administrators warn taxman could stop deal

Ibrox keys ready to be handed over… but taxman could scupper Rangers solution

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UPDATED:

22:06 GMT, 9 April 2012

Rangers administrators expect to hand over the keys to Ibrox by Wednesday — but have warned bidders that the taxman could still veto any deal.

Singapore-based businessman Bill Ng on Monday night joined the rush to win manager Ally McCoist’s approval, insisting that he is desperate to talk new signings with the first-team boss.

And Ng, who claims to have supported Rangers since the childhood thrill of seeing them win the 1972 European Cup Winners’ Cup, declared: ‘My mission will be accomplished when another young boy watches Rangers lift a European trophy.’

Hope: Fans will be hoping the club's deal is allowed to progress

Hope: Fans will be hoping the club's deal is allowed to progress

Ng is the only one of three bidders yet to have any contact with McCoist, whose previous relationship with former Rangers director Paul Murray is considered a key part of his Blue Knights group’s appeal.

American rival Bill Miller had two phone conversations over the weekend, leading the manager — the leader of the club, in the circumstances — to declare himself impressed by both his enthusiasm and intentions.

Now Ng has joined the race to win public approval by courting the fans’ favourite, declaring: ‘I’m already thinking about the day I can sit down with Ally McCoist and the staff to discuss new signings.’

Support: Rangers boss Ally McCoist encourages his team

Support: Rangers boss Ally McCoist encourages his team

All three bidders remain in contention, with administrators Duff & Phelps expecting to make an announcement by tomorrow at the latest.

Once granted exclusivity, the
successful would-be owner will be given time to put together a Company
Voluntary Agreement (CVA) that would satisfy creditors and allow Rangers
to exit administration – avoiding the ‘nuclear option’ of liquidation
and formation of a newco, which would incur serious and long-lasting
sporting penalties.

Key to
getting that agreement would be keeping HMRC on board and, because of
this, Sportsmail understands that Duff & Phelps would not be willing
to hand ownership of the club to any group not cleared by the revenue
authorities.

While they can’t order the administrators to choose one bidder, they can declare their opposition to any final package put before them — all but scuppering hopes of reaching a CVA and effectively ending debate.

It is understood that Duff & Phelps have been in constant contact with HMRC, while key individuals from the administrators spent the entire Easter weekend trying to hammer out a deal acceptable to creditors.

Rangers expecting five bids for club

Rangers expecting up to five bids for crisis club as D-day looms for Ibrox giants

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UPDATED:

19:56 GMT, 3 April 2012

Rangers' administrators are anticipating up to five bids for the club before Wednesday's deadline for final offers.

Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy is reportedly weighing up an offer although he has denied having submitted one already.

Joint-administrator David Whitehouse told the club's official website: 'It could be we end up with at least four, possibly five bids being submitted.'

Decision time: Brian Kennedy is weighing up an offer for Rangers

Decision time: Brian Kennedy is weighing up an offer for Rangers

Bids are expected from the Blue Knights consortium led by former Rangers director Paul Murray, US-based investment form Club 9 Sports and a Singapore-based group.

Whitehouse does not expect Craig Whyte to prove an obstacle to a deal being done, although the majority shareholder's intentions remain unclear.

Duff and Phelps expect to reveal the preferred bidder next week with that party then granted exclusivity in negotiating a sale.

Mr Whitehouse told rangers.co.uk: 'We have been in detailed conversation with a number of parties over the last couple of weeks and the best and final bids are due to be submitted by tomorrow at 5pm.

'If it becomes clear after tomorrow's bids then we would want to be backing one horse very soon after Easter and then concluding a deal within a few weeks – in other words ownership change – and Rangers would come out of administration at that point.

'We need to have ownership change before the end of the season.

'I am told that Craig Whyte will not be an impediment to any deal.'

Rangers' official website claimed Kennedy was a possible contender and he refused to rule out a late offer.

Walking away: Craig Whyte is not expected to impede any deal

Walking away: Craig Whyte is not expected to impede any deal

Kennedy has consistently described himself as a reluctant runner and had his initial proposal rejected, but he reportedly told BBC Scotland that the Club 9 Sports offer 'scared the living hell out of him' and that he would submit an offer if he believed Rangers were heading for liquidation.

He released a statement through his rugby union side's spokesman, which read: 'I have just spoken to Brian Kennedy who is on business in New York and he has advised me that he has not issued a revised bid regarding Rangers Football Club. If the situation changes Brian will advise me.'

Whyte this week insisted he would co-operate with potential bidders including the Blue Knights, despite his stated scepticism over Murray's involvement.

He said: 'I have 30 million in cash and guarantees on the line but I would walk away if it is best for Rangers.'

The administrators believe Whyte will not prove a barrier to the process and that they would have the final say over a preferred bidder, but uncertainty remains over his entitlements after he bought out Sir David Murray for 1 and apparently used advance season ticket sales to pay off the club's debt.

Significant: Paul Murray (right) says he's struck a deal with Ticketus

Significant: Paul Murray (right) says he's struck a deal with Ticketus

Paul Murray claimed he had struck a deal with Ticketus, who provided more than 30million of capital to Rangers during Whyte's reign, as part of his bid but final confirmation of that has not been forthcoming.

Ticketus are owed 27million over the next three years but administrators believe they have the right to tear up the deal if in the best interests of creditors, and could launch a second court challenge to the contract. Murray has claimed to have initiated a deal that would see Ticketus reclaim just 10million over a longer period.

The Blue Knights hope to avoid liquidation, which would leave any new club arising from the current club's carcass facing a three-year ban from European football and open to further domestic sanctions even if they retain Scottish Premier League status.

However, Whitehouse warned that any offer that relies on a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) must serve creditors better than a bid which leads to liquidation.

'Whilst we are mindful of the advantages of a CVA and that is our preferred outcome, there is economic consideration to be taken into account as well in that creditors will require the best return,' he said.

'Therefore those purchasers who are keen to promote and deliver a CVA exit must also recognise the need for their proposals to be commercially competitive.

Crisis club: The future of Rangers hangs in the balance

Crisis club: The future of Rangers hangs in the balance

'It's about what level of percentage will be available to creditors at the end of the day.

'We are very mindful of the views of the supporters in terms of a CVA but in the absence of a CVA an asset sale would not result in the closure of the club. It would involve the football club continuing through a new limited company.

'Supporters shouldn't lose sight that a well-capitalised club moving forward is a legitimate long-term proposal for someone to put forward.

'The downside to an asset sale could be SFA and SPL sanctions which are undetermined.'

Meanwhile, administrators will publish their initial report on the club's official website on Wednesday with creditors given an opportunity to vote on that by April 20.

Joint-administrator Paul Clark said: 'For clarification this is not a creditors' meeting at which a Company Voluntary Arrangement will be proposed, nor will any other form of exit from administration be determined at this juncture.

'Such matters will be formally considered once the sale process has reached a conclusion.'

Ally McCoist can quiz Rangers bidders

McCoist can quiz bidders as three line up to buy Rangers

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UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 30 March 2012

Questions: Ally McCoist

Questions: Ally McCoist

Ally McCoist will welcome the chance
to speak to all three shortlisted bidders for Rangers and seek answers
about their long-term plans for the club.

On Friday, administrators Duff & Phelps
confirmed they had asked a trio of interested parties to
submit 'best and final' offers by next Wednesday.

They are understood to be the Paul Murray-led Blue Knights, Club 9 Sports of Chicago and a Singapore-based consortium.

The eventual preferred bidder will be given a period of exclusivity to try to close in on a deal.

Brian Kennedy dropped out of the race earlier this week and another UK-based group is also no longer being considered.

Ibrox boss McCoist has so far only held talks with Murray and Kennedy.

He
is, therefore, keen to speak to the overseas groups bidding to replace
discredited owner Craig Whyte, to learn more of their intentions.

'Brian is out of the equation and Paul is the only other interested party that I've met,' said McCoist.

'The administrators are keeping me up to speed with other bids.

'They've said to me that other potential purchasers would like the opportunity to meet with myself and ask me a few questions and I would like to do the same on behalf of the club.

'I would ask them where they would want Rangers to be in five, 10, 15 years' time because that's the important question all the fans would like to hear answered.'

On Friday, Rangers Supporters Trust 'demanded swift and decisive action' to ensure the club was in new ownership before the end of the season.

But McCoist believes it is correct to take time if it ensures the right owners end up in place.

'The timing isn't as important as the end result,' he said.

Stobart to sponsor Super League in three-year deal

Super League to be sponsored by haulage firm Stobart after agreeing three-year deal

The Rugby Football League are today celebrating a three-year sponsorship deal with the Stobart Group they believe could be worth up to 2.5million a year.

The nationwide logistics company, which already sponsor Widnes, have not paid any cash to secure the naming rights of the Stobart Super League but will instead freely advertise the game on their famous trucks and the RFL insist the sport will not lose out financially.

Engage Mutual Assurance, who ended their seven-year sponsorship at the end of last season, paid 1m-plus a year for exclusivity and the RFL say the agreement with Stobart enables them to bring on board additional commercial partners as part of a multi-layered package.

New deal: The Stobart Super League trophy and promotional trailers

New deal: The Stobart Super League trophy and promotional trailers

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood told a news conference at Stobart's training centre in Widnes that the 14 clubs rejected cash offers in favour of Stobart, who will display the Super League artwork on 100 of their 2,250 40ft-trucks as they travel across the country.

He said nine of the clubs voted for the Stobart deal, which he claimed was 'too good to turn down'.

'The title sponsorship in previous years was all-encompassing, in effect a lock-out of other brands,' Wood said.

'This is the exact opposite. This has freed up inventory that is available which has a commercial value for other blue-chip brands to come in and support the Super League.

'You will see over the course of the next couple of months partnership packages supporting the Stobart sponsorship so that you will find that the sport as a whole is financially in the same position.

'We set ourselves the challenge of getting all the benefits of this enhanced visibility of profile without hurting the profit/loss account.

'We had lots of interest and there was more than one offer on the table but, without a shadow of doubt, the offer from Stobart was one the RFL and the clubs themselves thought was too good to turn down.

New era: RFL chief executive Nigel Wood and Stobart CEO Andrew Tinkler announce the new deal

New era: RFL chief executive Nigel Wood and Stobart CEO Andrew Tinkler announce the new deal

'It's a positive, progressive partnership which will move the sport forward. This is a fantastic deal for the sport.

'We think, and more importantly, the clubs believe we have an obligation to promote the Super League competition as aggressively as possible and at the same time retain the commercial value.

'It's always difficult to nail it down to a notional figure but we've had estimates ranging from 1m to 2.5m a year in terms of the marketing value of this association.'

Stobart chief executive Andrew Tinkler insisted his company were ready to become fully involved in rugby league, even going as far as to suggest players could be offered jobs as truck drivers at the end of their careers.

'This partnership is a great opportunity for us to help promote Super League and enhance our own status as a superbrand which is defined by quality, reliability and distinction,' he said.

'There is a cash investment because there is always costs involved in dealing with something like this. There might be cash involved further down the line.'

The Stobart Super League kicks off on Friday week when Widnes host Wakefield and champions Leeds meet Hull KR at Headingley.

So, what"s it like to play on a Thursday? Stoke and Birmingham fill Fergie in…

What”s it like to play on a Thursday Stoke and Birmingham fill Fergie in…

Tony Pulis: Stoke City manager

We’ve travelled all over Europe — I think we have covered over 10,000 miles — and played in the Premier League and Carling Cup and it’s been an unbelievably difficult thing to manage.

We’re learning all the time but we need to see if there are things we can do better. That’s the travelling, the hotel arrangements, training schedules, everything. We have stayed behind and trained on occasions and started the preparations for our next Premier League fixture in another country!

Safe passage: Kenwyne Jones puts Stoke in the last 32

Safe passage: Kenwyne Jones puts Stoke in the last 32

Chris Hughton: Birmingham City manager

Most of our difficulties have come from having matches on Sundays after the Europa League games. Playing on a Thursday night can have a knock-on effect for days afterwards. Of course, it affects you. It affects your preparation, your training, your squad choices — everything.

The bigger clubs probably have the squads to cope. But it’s not been easy, particularly if you have a run of away games.

Virgin voyage: Wade Elliott takes on Braga

Virgin voyage: Wade Elliott takes on Braga”s Ewerton

Curtis Davies: Birmingham defender

Personally, I don’t think I’ve been affected by the games themselves. It is the travelling that wears you down. When I went to play against CSKA Moscow with Aston Villa, you find yourself absolutely wired after a game. You can’t sleep.

I think we had one session to prepare for a home game against Chelsea that weekend. But to be in any European competition is an honour. I don’t think anyone would turn their backs on it.

PS

Just when United and City thought it couldn’t get worse, one of them may have to play early on Tuesday evenings. With both clubs seeded for next week’s last-32 draw, they can’t play home matches at the same time. So one is likely to switch to a 5.45pm slot on a Tuesday to ensure TV exclusivity for the Champions League matches later in the evening.