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Trio in Hearts takeover battle

12 Jul 2013 18:02:03

Trio in Hearts takeover battle

Hearts fans face a battle to buy the troubled Scottish Premier League club after administrators revealed two other consortiums made takeover offers on Friday.

The Foundation of Hearts, an alliance of supporters groups, was the first to submit its bid 24 hours before Friday's deadline and another two groups have now joined the race for the Edinburgh side.

Joint administrator Bryan Jackson said: "We can confirm that we have received three bids for Heart of Midlothian FC.

"To preserve confidentiality, unless disclosed by the bidder themselves we will not be naming the parties."

A potential rival to the Hearts fans emerged earlier this week in the shape of a group headed by Borders businessman Bob Jamieson and backed by American investment firm Club 9 Sports.

Former Livingston owner Angelo Massone is also reported to have made another offer for the club.

Hearts rebuffed a bid from the Italian in November last year, stating they felt he "may not be the right person to take the club forward".

The Italian led Livingston into administration and ultimately demotion to the Third Division in a disastrous year-long spell in 2008-09.

The Foundation of Hearts bid is backed by more than 5,500 supporters, who have set up direct debits to fund their offer.

Jackson urged fans to be patient as events in Lithuania are complicating the process.

Hearts owe about £25 million to their two major shareholders, Ukio Bankas and UBIG, both of which are insolvent, but the latter has not had an administrator appointed.

"Further discussions will now take place with the bidders and also with the legal representatives of the administrators of Ukio Bankas. We would then hope to be in a position to name a preferred bidder," Jackson added

"The CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) will need the support of the other major creditor and shareholders, and there may be a delay in securing that support while administrators are appointed to those entities.

"Therefore the sale process may take some time before a deal can be concluded and the club exits administration."


AFP

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