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Volume 7 No. 82

Finance

Rich Energy's takeover bid for Force India F1 is understood to be just shy of £100M.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

A £100M ($133.8M) takeover of Force India Formula 1 "could be completed within days, insists the man behind the deal," according to Tom Cary of the London TELEGRAPH. Energy drinks firm Rich Energy CEO William Storey hit out at "external moves to destabilise" the proposed takeover, saying that he has already had an offer accepted "in principle" for the Silverstone-based Force India team. A Sales & Purchase Agreement is now being finalized, Storey claimed. Rich Energy's offer is understood to be "just shy" of £100M, down from the £150M ($200.6M) offer originally tabled, "after due diligence threw up snags, including various creditors who have yet to be paid." One of those creditors is engine supplier Mercedes, believed to be owed roughly £13M ($17.4M). There are "still conflicting noises coming out of the team." There may be "elements who would prefer to see Force India go under than sold to Storey's company." There are also rumors that Mercedes, together with sponsor BWT, "might be eyeing up a takeover" (TELEGRAPH, 6/9). F1I's Phillip van Osten reported Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley "dismissed claims from Rich Energy." While Fernley acknowledged that discussions had taken place, "no deal was imminent," he insisted. Fernley: "It's no secret that they've been interested, but so have other people. There's nothing moved forward to my knowledge. We've not been instructed about anything yet. All those issues are dealt with by the shareholders, they're not a team issue, so we don't have any involvement in it at all" (F1I, 6/10).

A company used by former Scottish Premiership side Rangers Owner Craig Whyte to buy the club "has been stopped from making a bid to have its people in control of the in-liquidation Ibrox oldco," according to Martin Williams of the HERALD SCOTLAND. The move by Rangers FC Group -- the company formerly known as Wavetower that was founded by Whyte -- is reportedly part of a new £18M ($24M) "legal claim on the creditors payout pot." Representatives of the firm, now controlled by directors of in-liquidation investment company Worthington Group, "have initially failed in what is a rare attempt to appoint administrative receivers over an in-liquidation firm." The move is reportedly the result of Rangers FC Group "believing it holds a security" over the liquidated assets of the oldco RFC 2012. It is claimed the security was reassigned to the company from Lloyds Banking Group after an £18M bank debt was paid off as a condition of Whyte's £1 purchase of Rangers from David Murray. But BDO, the joint liquidator of the oldco, said that it "obtained an interim interdict which stopped the receivership appointment" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 6/12).

Serie B club Bari is "on the verge of bankruptcy after the water supply to the Stadio San Nicola was cut off due to unpaid bills." Club President Cosmo Antonio Giancaspro is at the center of "several investigations into financial irregularities, having already seen the team docked two points" and lose its home status in the promotion playoffs. Now the club "is heading for potential bankruptcy," as Giancaspro must find €5M ($5.9M) by June 26 to pay outstanding wages and pension contributions (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 6/11).

Pro14 side Munster expects a "small loss" of €40,000 ($47,000) for the year through June on revenues of €16.9M ($19.9M). A reduction in grant income from the Irish Rugby Football Union and "no gate income" from hosting a touring int'l side were responsible for reduction of turnover by €900,000 ($1.06M) compared to the previous year (RUNNING RUGBY, 6/11).