Date:Saturday May 19 2007
Concerned that they are getting left behind in the Premiership takeover frenzy, US conglomerate General Electric is hoping to pull off a big takeover deal. It is setting up a special unit in its London office which will also look at commercial rights deals, stadium financing and refinancing packaging for clubs.
Hermes Sports Partners, GE's London-based sports unit, has brought in a financier and adviser with sports contacts across Europe as their interest extends to the continental leagues. Harry Philp, managing director of Hermes, said the Premier League and the top half of the Championship were under scrutiny for possible takeovers.
He commented, 'We are looking to do big deals but, at the moment, there are not that many around.' Ken Goldborough, European head of GE's media, communications and entertainment unit, said: 'Ongoing takeover activity surrounding football clubs, including Liverpool and Arsenal, shows what an international, attractive and fast-moving industry this is.' GE claim that their acquisition finance unit will be the only one focused soley on the sports industry in Europe.
After much focus on British and American bids, it looks as if Manchester City had gone for the Thai option. Deposed Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, has been allowed to undertake due diligence and is thought likely to make a bid of £92m.
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