SBD Global/March 21, 2017/Finance

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  • Leyton Orient Given Stay Of Execution, Winding-Up Order Remains

    League Two side Leyton Orient "survived an immediate winding-up order" but the club remains in "mortal danger," according to the legal adviser to its fans' trust, according to the BBC. At a winding-up hearing at the High Court, Leyton Orient Owner Francesco Becchetti was given until June 12 "to pay off debts or sell the club." The club was the subject of a winding-up petition brought by U.K. tax authority HMRC "over unpaid taxes." Those debts "have now been paid, but money is owed to four other creditors." Club CEO Alessandro Angelieri gave the court a statement saying that Becchetti would invest £1M ($1.23M) "to pay off remaining debts in eight to 10 weeks." Leyton Orient Fans' Trust legal adviser Adam Michaelson said, "It leaves the club in a state of significant uncertainty and frankly mortal danger. In respect of a potential sale, we would call upon Mr. Becchetti now to look to sell the club at the earliest possible opportunity and make good on the promise that he's made." The club's latest set of accounts, from the year ending June 30, 2015, showed the club had debts of £5,512,449 -- "more than the value of the club's assets" of £5.5M (BBC, 3/20). In London, Sam Cunningham reported HMRC was "chasing the club and unpopular" Becchetti for unpaid taxes, understood to total £250,000 ($308,000). The court was told Orient owes club photographer Simon O'Connor £6,000 ($7,400), Central Circle Event Management Ltd., which provides matchday stewarding, £18,000 ($22,200) and the London Borough of Waltham Forest, its local council, £36,000 ($44,400). Becchetti "did not turn up to what has been described as the biggest day in the club's 136-year history." Orient supporters in their suits and scarves "packed the small court room in such numbers that many more had to wait for the outcome outside" of the Rolls Building in central London as "there was not enough space." They are "desperate for the Italian to sell the club" he bought from Barry Hearn for £4M in July '14. L.O.F.T. raised a £110,000 ($135,800) "fighting fund" to "ensure the future" of its club. But it has "no intention of using the money to bail out Becchetti and will consider using it to fund a 'phoenix club' should Orient cease to exist" (DAILY MAIL, 3/20).

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  • Vivendi CEO Vincent Bolloré Accuses Mediaset Of Providing 'Misleading' Information

    Vivendi CEO Vincent Bolloré accused Italian group Mediaset of providing "misleading" information during negotiations over a tie-up last year, "upping the stakes in the acrimonious stand-off" between former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi and Bolloré, according to David Bond of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Tensions between Berlusconi, who founded and owns 40% of Mediaset, and Bolloré "have been rising" ever since Vivendi’s €880M deal to acquire 3.5% of Mediaset and all of pay-TV channel Mediaset Premium "fell apart in July." The move was part of Vivendi's strategy to build a southern European media powerhouse to "take on Sky and combat the growing threat from new global online streaming services such as Netflix." Despite reports in Italy of a "possible peace deal between the two parties," Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine said that "attempts to find a resolution had so far failed." He suggested that Vivendi received "wrong" information during talks about the deal (FT, 3/19).

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