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SBD Global/August 21, 2013/Finance

Heart Of Midlothian Investors Say Remaining At Tynecastle Vital For Proposal

On the day that Scottish Premiership Heart of Midlothian fan group Foundation of Hearts revealed further details of its bid to buy the club, Chair Ian Murray stressed that "remaining at Tynecastle stadium is key to a proposal that is financed by a group of currently anonymous Edinburgh businessmen," according to Alan Pattullo of the SCOTSMAN. Murray "has vouched for their standing within the business community while confirming they are Hearts supporters." These business people "will provide the vast majority of the capital" required for the to-be-proposed Creditors’ Voluntary Agreement, which club administrators BDO "need to secure in order to sell Hearts as a going concern to the supporters." The proposal involves two companies -- Bidco and Fanco -- "entering into a binding contract in order to conduct the transaction with BDO and then with each other." As well as "ensuring the club’s assets are placed in the hands of the supporters," this ownership model "keeps the football club and the stadium together." Murray said, "That’s the model we went with because none of the other models would have allowed that to happen. The long term future is to stay at Tynecastle" (SCOTSMAN, 8/20).

CVA NEEDED: In Edinburgh, Barry Anderson reported "everything hinges" on the Foundation agreeing to a CVA with UAB. It is understood to want £5M ($7.8M) for a CVA and "have threatened to liquidate," whilst the Foundation’s current offer is less than £3M ($4.7M). Should a CVA be agreed, Bidco "would have control of hearts, which would then be sold on to the Foundation." Following the announcement of the Foundation as preferred bidder, "a crucial period of negotiation begins with the Lithuanians over a CVA." More than 6,700 fans "have pledged monthly money to the Foundation and will be given a say in the running of Hearts if the supporters’ group gain control." Any money used from the unnamed financers involved in BIDCO "will be paid back over a period of years, depending on funding from pledges." Interest "will be minimal and contractual agreements prevents the money being used to back any other bid." The investors "do not wish to be named right now in case the Foundation’s bid fails and they are fingered for not coming across with enough money." Their names "will be revealed if and when a CVA is agreed" (EDINBURGH NEWS, 8/20).

MAKING A PLEDGE: The BBC reported Murray said that they "had already received 6,700 pledges," worth between £10 ($15) and £500 ($783) per month, from supporters. FoH said that "those contributing will have an immediate influence in the running of the club should the deal go through," with the full transition of ownership "predicted to take between three and five years" (BBC, 8/19).
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