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SBD Global/January 21, 2014/Finance

Control Of Leeds United To Change Again After Owner GFH Sells Most Of Its Shares

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Control of League Championship side Leeds United "is once again being passed to a new set of investors" after its Dubai-based owners said that "they were selling most of their holding in the Championship club," according to Roger Blitz of FINANCIAL TIMES. Private equity group GFH Capital said that it had sold 75% of the club "to a consortium" including Leeds Managing Dir David Haigh. He is GFH Capital’s deputy CEO (FT, 1/20). REUTERS' David French reported in a filing to the Dubai bourse on Monday, GFH said that "an agreement had been struck with the consortium" on Nov. 30 but the FA "had yet to grant approval for the takeover." The sale, it said, "would have a positive impact on financials." In addition to GFH, Bahrain-based Int'l Investment Bank and Leeds Chair Salah Nooruddin's Envest company all own more than 10% of Leeds, according to the club website (REUTERS, 1/20). BLOOMBERG's Sarmad Khan reported GFH "climbed to the highest in more than 22 months after the investment company said it signed an agreement with a group of British investors." The shares gained 9.6% to 0.86 dirhams in Dubai, the highest close since March '12. The company’s shares "rose for a third day" after it said on Wednesday that "it had signed an agreement to sell a stake in the club." Its Kuwait-listed stock rose 8.6%, while it gained 9.8% in Manama. Volume of shares traded in Dubai "was almost five times the three-month daily average" (BLOOMBERG, 1/20).
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