English Billionaire Mike Ashley now has over 93% ownership in Newcastle United PLC â€“ which means he is almost able to compulsorily purchase the remaining shares and so de-list Newcastle from the Stock Exchange.
In a statement today to the London Stock Exchange, St James’ Holding Limited (SJHL – Ashley’s company created to handle the takeover) revealed they owned, controlled or had received valid acceptances in respect to 93.19% of the existing issued share capital of the club.
Newcastle Owner Mike Ashley
This is the statement released to the Stock Exchange this morning:
“As announced on 15 June 2007, SJHL 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 Authority) for the cancellation of Newcastle United’s listing, both of which are expected to take effect on or around 18 July 2007,”
“Furthermore, if SJHL receives valid acceptances of the offer in respect of, or otherwise acquires, 90% or more of the Newcastle United Shares to which the offer relates (such level will be reached once SJHL owns, controls or has received valid acceptances in respect of Newcastle United Shares representing approximately 94.16% of the existing issued share capital of Newcastle United), SJHL will seek to acquire compulsorily the Newcastle United Shares for which it has not received valid acceptances of the offer or otherwise acquired.”
As a result of this, SJHL have extended their offer for all of the issued and to be issued share capital of Newcastle until further notice.
Things are now moving very quickly on the business side of things at Newcastle and Ashley has already had four Directors resign from the club. He has appointed Chris Mort as Vice-Chairman of the Board and Steve Hayward as non-executive Director on the Board. Manager Sam Allardyce now reports to Mort â€“ and although they have met briefly they have yet to sit down and conduct extended discussions on what’s needed to be done before the transfer window closes at the end of August.
It looks also like Chairman Freddy Shepherd has been asked to stay on only to offer some continuity at the club. It is expected to last for a few months until at least the transfer window expires. Chris Mort is now in control of the daily running of the club and has started a total strategic review of the working procedures at Newcastle.
The push is now on to help Allardyce bring new players to the club as soon as possible. Certainly one aspect of transfers that Chris Mort will ban from now on are the release clauses – that are causing Allardyce so much discomfort with his striking stars â€“ Michael Owen and Oba Martins.
Things are now looking much better from the business side of things – now the playing side needs to be sorted out – and quickly.