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SBD Global/August 9, 2012/Finance

Patron Capital Ends Talks With Pitch Operator Goals Soccer Centres

Private equity group Patron Capital "walked away from the battle to take control of Goals Soccer Centres," leaving a Canadian pension fund as the only prospective buyer for the five-a-side football pitch operator, according to Hammond & Sakoui of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Patron "had planned to bolt Goals' 42 football centres on to its own Powerleague five-a-side business and was given until next Monday to make an offer." The decision to quit the process comes three weeks after the board of Aim-traded Goals recommended that shareholders approve a 144 pence-a-share offer made by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. In exiting the process, Patron "has removed any external obstacles to Teachers' being successful in its bid." Goals' shares, which have risen about 33% since first receiving an approach from Teachers', were down 4.6% at 142 pence-a-share on Wednesday. The company has 42 centres across the U.K., which typically have between nine and 14 floodlit pitches made from artificial grass (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/8).
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