Ashley set to complete deal

11 July 2007 09:33
Mike Ashley is poised to complete his takeover of Newcastle United after triggering a compulsory purchase of the club's remaining shares. Ashley's company, St James Holdings Limited, has confirmed to the Stock Exchange that it has agreed to buy almost 95 per cent of the shares. That means the remaining stockholders will automatically be forced to sell their shares in the club to the billionaire former sportswear retailer. Ashley paid Sir John Hall £55million for his 41.6 per cent stake in May and then continued his takeover process by agreeing to purchase chairman Freddy Shepherd's 28 per cent stake for £37million. At the time, Shepherd backed Ashley's buyout, saying: "The offer from SJHL is at a level which fully reflects both the performance of Newcastle and its prospects and ambitions for the future. "The board believes that SJHL and Mike Ashley will be excellent custodians of Newcastle United's heritage and will provide the best possible opportunity for the club to flourish in the future, to the benefit of the company and its fans." Shepherd is expected to stay on at St James' Park in some capacity following the conclusion of Ashley's takeover.

Source: ESA