Leeds close to takeover

  • Last Updated: October 26 2012, 14:17 BST

Bahrain-based investment bank GFH Capital are poised to complete their takeover of Leeds, the two parties have said.

GFH Capital have provided Leeds owner Ken Bates with the necessary proof of funds to complete the transaction, which has been in the pipeline since May when talks between the two first began.

Speaking on Friday morning, Bates said: "It's been a long road, but we are in a good place. Both sides have been in talks over the last few days to finalise this deal. We are keeping focused and hope to complete very soon.

"The inaccurate reporting of certain journalists who will remain unnamed does not help the situation.

"Their articles, based upon a lack of knowledge of the intricacies of the deal and the full facts of the positive intentions of GFH Capital, achieve little and lead only to retractions or public apologies at a later date."

GFH Capital announced last month that they had signed an exclusive agreement to lead a takeover of Leeds after they had notified the Bahrain stock exchange.

GFH Capital's deputy chief executive officer David Haigh said: "With the money in place, we are poised to make this deal happen pending agreements and arrangements which are in the interests of the future of Leeds United - we need to make sure all the finer detail is addressed before trading signatures.

"Despite what has been said recently in media, both sides continue to talk regularly and continue to work hard to get the job done."

GFH Capital director and chief investment officer Salem Patel added clarification that the operation of the club would not be hindered by Shari'ah law, owing to GHF's Islamic background, saying: "We understand there is some concern related to how Leeds United would be run under our stewardship.

"It remains important to be clear that Shari'ah law will not hinder this transaction, nor will it affect the future operations of the club.

"Our intention is to provide investment which will facilitate a successful and sustainable future for Leeds United on and off the pitch."

Former Chelsea chairman Bates, 80, who took control of Leeds in 2005, has become increasingly unpopular with a growing number of fans due to a perceived lack of investment in the playing squad.

In April last year Bates announced he had bought a controlling 72.85% stake of the club's shares from a Geneva-based company, Forward Sports Fund, while the club have made pre-tax profits of more than £10million since the summer of 2007.


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