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Mandaric completes Sheffield Wednesday takeover

Mon 29th Nov 2010 | Clubs Ownership

The Board of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club have confirmed today that an agreement has been reached to sell the club to UK Football Investments, LLC (UKFI) headed by former Portsmouth Chairman, Milan Mandaric.

The agreement announced to the stock exchange this morning is conditional on approval of the Company's shareholders and is part of a wider restructuring package, the completion of which will see the Club emerge from its recent financial troubles debt free.

Shareholders will be asked to approve the sale of the club to UKFI at an Extraordinary General Meeting, which will take place on 14th December 2010.

In a statement on the club’s website it ‘s understood that UKFI, has given the club written assurances they will pay the outstanding balance of £300,000 that is the subject of a winding up order, brought by HMRC and due to be heard in the High Court on December 1, 2010.

In his dealings with the board Milan Mandaric has also made clear his intention to invest in all aspects of the Club, and that his aim is to see Sheffield Wednesday once again be a force in English football.

Commenting on the agreement, Sheffield Wednesday Chairman Howard Wilkinson said, "I believe this to be one of the most important days in the recent history of our great club. Our trials and tribulations have been well documented, but I can now see a brighter future for Sheffield Wednesday.

"Our Club has been on the brink of administration, and if this were to happen then so many people around our Club would have suffered. We do have one final hurdle to cross, and that is for shareholders to approve the sale at the upcoming EGM.

"I will always be grateful to Milan Mandaric for showing the determination to save Sheffield Wednesday. We have been able to spend some time in recent days speaking about football and what needs to be done here. I look forward to working with Milan in building a strong Club in which we can all be proud.

"I would also like to put on record, my thanks and appreciation to the whole staff and supporters of Sheffield Wednesday who have stuck with us through thick and thin. In particular I would like to thank our Chief Executive Nick Parker, who has worked night and day to save Sheffield Wednesday from administration.

"In addition, I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to the departing and former directors of the Club who are also the loan note holders. They have served the Club loyally for many years without remuneration and have agreed to suffer a significant financial loss in order to allow this transaction to proceed. Their support throughout the many years of their service should not be doubted.

"On behalf of the Board I fully recommend this offer to shareholders, and to our supporters I again call on you to get behind our team."

Speaking on reaching this agreement, Milan Mandaric said: "Sheffield Wednesday is one of the most famous names in football. I have been able to speak to a lot of people in and around the Club in recent weeks, and their passion for Sheffield Wednesday has helped inspire me to get to this point.

"As well as joining with Howard in thanking the former directors for their service and dedication, I would also like to thank the Co-Operative Bank for its help in delivering this transaction and its support for the Club over many years.

"I give the supporters and everybody who cares for this club, an assurance that if shareholders vote in favour of this deal, then I will do everything in my power, working with Howard, Nick and Alan Irvine to again make Sheffield Wednesday a real force in English football."

The highlights of the agreement are:

- UKFI will pay the Company GBP £1 to acquire 100% of the Club

- UKFI have entered into an agreement with the Co-Operative Bank which will allow for the Club to move forward free of any residual debt

- The current and former Directors other than David Allen who own loan notes in the Company have all agreed to waive a significant majority of the value of their debts, with any repayment of the remaining sum only taking place upon the Club gaining promotion to the Premier League

- David Allen will receive an initial payment on completion of the acquisition along with a further payment upon the Club gaining promotion to the Premier League

- Upon completion of the deal, Kenneth Cooke, Robert Grierson and Geoffrey Hulley shall resign as directors of both the Company and the Club

- The new Board of the Club will consist of Milan Mandaric, who shall serve as Chairman and directors Howard Wilkinson and Nick Parker

 

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