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SBD Global/March 20, 2013/Franchises

Middle East Owner Seeks Early Exit From Leeds United After December Purchase

The Middle Eastern owner of League Championship side Leeds United has "signalled that it is in talks to sell" the club, according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. Dubai-based GFH Capital purchased the club from majority shareholder Ken Bates in December. In end-year financial statements dated Feb. 21, Gulf Financial House said, "The Group has an active plan to sell its stake in LUFC Holdings Limited, and accordingly, the asset and liabilities acquired were classified as held-for-sale and presented in the consolidated statement of financial position." It added that "it had begun negotiations related to the sale of its stake since the end of last year." The accounts "show a net cash payment" of $33.2M to buy the business last year. Reports in December said the cost of the Leeds deal could be up to $78.6M, but "that figure was not confirmed." In its accounts, Gulf Finance House "booked a goodwill gain" of $10.4M on the deal, and said "the bargain purchase was due to pressure on the sellers to exit their holdings due to change in their business plans" (REUTERS, 3/19).
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