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SBD Global/September 11, 2012/International Football

Middle East Investors Make $20M Bid For Portsmouth FC

Middle East investors have set out a seven-point plan for the takeover of League One Portsmouth FC, according to Anil Bhoyrul of ARABIAN BUSINESS. Documents show full details of the $20.4M takeover which would "leave the club debt free," as well as details of the Dubai Bank escrow account into which funds "have already been deposited." The names of the investors behind the bid "have been redacted by Arabian Business to protect their identity." Documents state that the investors have also offered to “pay the unsecured creditors in full settlement of the CVA with creditors … We understand this is one million pounds sterling.” Additionally, the new investors will “provide share capital in excess of £500,000 ($799,000),” while also accepting “a novation of the compromise agreements with former players … we understand this totals eight million eight hundred thousand pounds and is to be repaid over a four year term.” The troubled club has seen a number of owners in recent years, including Sulaiman Al Fahim, who first took over Portsmouth in '09 when the team played in the Premier League. However, "mounting debts saw the club change hands many times after," including twice being owned by businessman Balram Chainrai. After being relegated and moving into administration, there have been "growing fears that the club could face permanent closure without an immediate buyer" (ARABIAN BUSINESS, 9/10).

DEADLINE SET: REUTERS reported that The Portsmouth Supporters Trust and former club Owner Balram Chainrai's Portpin vehicle were "already working on rival bids for the club." The administrators have set a Friday deadline to "finalize offers." Administrators PKF, who have been running the club for more than six months, said through a spokesperson, "We have received an initial offer from a Middle East-based group and are currently awaiting clarification of financial issues" (REUTERS, 9/10).
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