The breaking news is that a billionaire has bought the shares of Sir John Hall – a 41.6% holding in Newcastle to launch a takeover bid.
Billionaire businessman Mike Ashley has bought into Newcastle United via St James’ Holdings Limited, a company set up to buy shares in the club.
The company has acquired 55,342,223 shares at 100p each from Wynyard (Guernsey) Limited, Cameron Hall Developments Limited – a 41.6% holding in Newcastle to launch a takeover bid.
Sir John Hall
Stock Exchange rules mean that the company now has to make a cash offer for the remaining shares, around 29.8% of which belong to chairman Freddy Shepherd.
Earlier this month, Mr Shepherd said:
“It’s a plc matter so I can’t say too much. But none of the talks have come to anything for one simple reason – I’m not selling.
“It’s an impossible club to buy. If the Halls don’t sell and I don’t sell, there’s no way anybody can buy this club. “
It’s now going to get very interesting to see if it is possible that Shepherd can hold out because 100p per share is a good price and what we had been told Shepherd would hold out for.
In our piece Monday “Are Newcastle a Take-Over Target” we had speculated that Newcastle were being lined up because the share price had increased by 30% in the last three months – which is usually indicative of some behind the scenes action going on.
We’ll bring you more on this – as it develops.