Mike Ashley Gets Closer To Taking Newcastle United Private


English Billionaire Mike Ashley has increased his stake in Newcastle United PLC to 77 percent on Friday to take financial control of Newcastle United.

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.

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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. James’ 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 Newcastle‘s listing.”

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 – but fans will be pleased that the takeover is going so quickly. They will hoping that sufficient additional transfer funds will be made available to new manager Sam Allardyce to help in his task of putting Newcastle United back on the world football map.

Newcastle United also recently announced a huge ₤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.

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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.



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7 comments so far

  • Tony_D

    Jun 15, 2007 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #1

    Glad it is happening so fast, will make it much easier for BSA when his summer budget is finalised and MA’s expectations made clear.

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  • craig chisholm

    Jun 15, 2007 at 9:45 PM

    Comment #2

    amazing, in just three weeks he has completed just about the full take over. amazing to see how polygon etc dithered around for months nad months trying to scrape the dosh together. mike ashley must have some serious ready cash flow at his dispoasal. its been a good week appart from bloody Haim going to chelski to warm the bench. i even find the lord stevens Quest results pretty good. although they are questioning 4 transfers, they have said very clearly that newcastle are NOT under investigation and that we have broken no rules. Out of those 4 dealings, none are said to be dodgy, they just want more clarification. basically i think they have found very little on us if anything.

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  • LewDavies

    Jun 15, 2007 at 9:51 PM

    Comment #3

    MA needs to release some transfer kitty NOW, before all that is left is the dross. We cant go on keep being undermined by chelski et al and expect to be able to compete at the top level with substandard players any more. come on MA give Big Sam the cash he needs now.

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 15, 2007 at 9:52 PM

    Comment #4

    craig – good comment – i may put up a report on this – but the headlines make it look like we are criminals – and it’s not like that – looks like it’s the agents – anyway need to check it out a bit more first. papers are trying to sensationalize it to sell their papers i guess. Must sign some solid defenders in next couple weeks – but things are looking great right now 😀

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 15, 2007 at 9:52 PM

    Comment #5

    Lew – you might be right on that!

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  • Cathal

    Jun 15, 2007 at 11:11 PM

    Comment #6

    ashley is right not to release the transfer funds yet! he hasnt completed the takeover so it doesnt make any business sense to release funds! letbig sam work away with what hes got bcos at the minute hes got a budget of around 20mil which shephard has given him! surely he cant spend the 20mill in 3 weeks!

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 16, 2007 at 12:29 AM

    Comment #7

    cathal – but it’s not going to be long now before Ashley has 90% ownership – and also the financial review has completed – at least with their main conclusions. Then he needs to put a business plan together for the short term (and long term) and we’ll probably hear some statement from him – i would say around the end of this month at the earliest. It’s not spending 20K in 3 weeks that’s the concern – it’s who he should be targeting – and Sam needs to know about how much he has available.

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