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Forum Home > Club ownership issues > Middle East Consortium bid for Pompey

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Original report Sunday September 9, 2012

A GROUP of Middle East investors have lodged a £12.5m bid to take over Pompey, it has been reported.

An offer letter was sent to Pompey administrator Trevor Birch last week, according to publication Arabian Business.

The documents reportedly show the consortium has deposited AED75.058m into an escrow account on August 30, the website says.

The Pompey Supporters’ Trust may also have a part to play, according to Arabian Business, with the offer letter stating it is welcome to the group buying shares in the club, if interested.

Arabian Business says those behind the consortium wish to remain anonymous in the negotiation process.

Portpin and the trust were originally the only two offers on the table, with Mr Birch giving them a deadline of the end of the week to finalise their deals.

Middle East bidder NOT a consortium September 10, 2012

Al-Fahim: ' A Single Middle East investor is keen on Portsmouth '

al-Fahim insists mystery buyer has club's best interests at heart.

Former Portsmouth owner Sulaiman al-Fahim has shed some light on the club’s possible takeover by a “Middle East group” by claiming it is being led by just one investor and not a consortium as previously thought.

Emirati al-Fahim previously owned the South Coast club after buying out Sacha Gaydamak back in August 2009. However, his ownership lasted just six weeks amid significant debts at Fratton Park and his failure to pay players.

Eventually selling the club to Saudi Arabian businessman Ali al-Faraj, al-Fahim has kept a low profile since while Portsmouth, FA Cup winners in 2008, have plummented to the third tier of English football amid of backdrop of financial turmoil.

In administration, with a host of owners coming and going, and facing the very real threat of liquidation, Pompey look to have been been handed a lifeline after administrators, PFK, confirmed they had received an offer of £12.5million from a Middle East group to buy the club.

Reports have claimed the group has already deposited funds for the takeover into an escrow account held by Dubai Bank with the intention of wiping out all of Pompey’s debts should their offer prove successful.

Al-Fahim has since confirmed as much in a series of tweets via his official Twitter account @TheRealSulaiman where he also claimed the mystery bidder is a single investor and a fan of the club.

“I believe this is a serious bid. And to my knowledge the money is in escrow account,” wrote al-Fahim. “Given the amount of money £12.5m, the bid will clear out all debts and [means the] club does not need new cash for next 3 years."

When asked if he was behind the deal or if it was someone he knew, al-Fahim replied: “The new bidder is one investor only not a consortium. A Pompey fan is buying the club.”

He has also assured long-suffering fans of the League One club that an announcement will be made on Thursday, 24 hours before administrators had said they would make a decision on the new owners.

Waiting for the administrator to approval [sic] the deal and transfer the escrow account to a bank in London,” al-Fahim wrote before adding: "Wait till Thursday and you will have full answer.

Former owner Balram Chainrai is also interested in assuming control of the club for a third time, while Portsmouth’s Supporters Trust (PST) have also tabled a bid, partly funded by a loan from the local council.

Al-Fahim insists the interested buyer is keen to work closely with the club’s Supporters Trust should he or she gain control. “The bid co offered one board seat for PST. Without any investment for #transparacy [sic],” said al-Fahim. “PST are always welcome .... this club is for the fans.”

PHOTO: Fahim pictured with Pompey Fans at the Fratton End August 2009 prior to match against Manchester City

Report from the Telegraph

Fahim, whose previous spell in charge at Portsmouth in 2009 ended in chaos as he failed to raise the finance to complete the purchase from Alexandre Gaydamak, said on Twitter yesterday: "A Pompey fan is buying the club."

A redacted document was yesterday published online purporting to show 75.06 million Emirati dirham are being held on deposit in an account whose holder is unknown.

It showed the funds are held with Dubai Bank, which has not published audited accounts on its website since making a £49.5 million loss in 2009.

At the time the bank held only £450,000 in tier one and tier two capital. Fahim added on Twitter: "The bid co offered one board seat for PST [Portsmouth Supporters Trust]. Without any investment."

The Trust has repeatedly been approached by Fahim's advisers but has so far declined to join forces in favour of pursuing its own bid.

The administrator has set a deadline of Friday for bids to be substantively delivered by parties interested in taking the insolvent club out of receivership. Despite his offer to engage with the PST, Fahim's bid might be considered unhelpful to the Trust's effort.

Fahim, like the third bidder, Balram Chainrai, promises to pay the club's former players £8.8 million over four years as a "football creditor" compromise.

If either or both Chainrai or Fahim remain involved in the takeover process on Friday the Trust will have to match their offers or risk losing out when the bids are put to a vote of all creditors.

The Trust's takeover bid also offers almost £3 million to Chainrai in an effort to take over Fratton Park, which would currently default to Chainrai since he holds a loan secured against the club's freehold property.


September 11, 2012 at 7:17 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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