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SBD Global/October 29, 2012/Franchises

Championship Club Leeds United Takeover Imminent After GFH Proved It Has The Money

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GFH Capital's protracted takover of Championship club Leeds United "appeared to be a step closer" Saturday after the Dubai-based firm provided confirmation that it has the money needed to close out a £52M ($83.7M) deal," according to Phil Hay of the YORKSHIRE EVENING POST. A joint statement issued by GFH Capital and Leeds said the company had produced "the necessary proof that it has the funds available" to bring an end to its pain-staking attempt to buy the club. Negotiations between GFH Capital officials and United Owner and Chair Ken Bates "are heading into a sixth month amid growing confusion about the delay in agreeing a sale." GFH Capital "has already injected at least £2M ($3.2M) into United -- an investment made in return for a mortgage of shares in the Yorkshire club -- and the company is aiming to acquire a 100% stake" in the club's parent company, Leeds City Holdings Ltd. (YORKSHIRE EVENING POST, 10/27). Bates said, "It's been a long road, but we are in a good place. We hope to complete very soon." BBC.co.uk reported that GFH Chief Investment Officer Saleem Patel "attempted to address supporters' concerns regarding the level of investment GFH intends to make in the club." Patel said, "It remains important to be clear that Shari'ah law will not hinder this transaction nor will it affect the future operations of the club. Our intention is to provide investment, which will facilitate a successful and sustainable future for Leeds United on and off the pitch" (BBC.co.uk, 10/26).
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