English Billionaire Mike Ashley has increased his stake in
The jump to 77% occurred when Ashley officially bought the shares of Newcastle Chairman Freddy Shepherd who held a 28.01% share of the company.
Newcastle United Owner Mike Ashley
Ashley, who made his takeover intentions known a little more than three weeks ago, announced in a statement to the Stock Exchange that he had either bought or received valid acceptances for 77.06% of the total shares.
Having passed the 75% threshold, Ashley is now in a position to complete a full takeover of Newcastle United. If Ashley now gets to at least 90% ownership, he is entitled to compulsorily buy the remaining shares. He has already stated his intention to take the company off the stock market and revert it to private ownership.
A statement on the club’s official website said:
“SJHL (St. Jamesâ€™ Park Holdings Limited) now intends to procure the making of an application by Newcastle United to the London Stock Exchange for the cancellation of trading of Newcastle United shares and to the UKLA [UK Listing Association] for the cancellation of
‘s listing.” Newcastle
Analysts have said that football clubs are seen as cash cows by many investors, especially after they re-negotiated overseas TV rights for the Premiership. The cancellation of Newcastle’s listing on the stock exchange is expected to take place on 18 July.
Ashley has already indicated he is in the process of conducting an overall financial review of
Newcastle United also recently announced a huge â‚¤300M upgrade to their ground St. James Park – which will include new hotels, a conference center – and plans to increase the capacity of the ground to at least 60,000. It is suspected that Ashley has some investment in this recently announced upgrade since he has talked during the last two weeks of improving most facilities at the club.
Artist’s Impression of St James’ Park, Newcastle (circa 2012)
Ashley is also expected to talk about his plans and ambitions for the club once he has reached the 90% ownership target. Initial suggestions were that he wanted the Magpies to be able to win the Premiership League Title within three years and be competing for the European Champions League within five years. That is a very aggressive plan to say the least.
Ashley is said to be a very shy and retiring man – (though certainly not regarding his ambitions for the club) but that will not worry the Geordie Nation – who have received the news of the Ashley takeover with a renewed optimism regarding the future of the Tyneside club.
Comments are welcome on this good news for both the club and the city.