Ipswich Town confirm takeover talks
IPSWICH Town are in takeover talks with at least two interested parties, the EADT can reveal today.Negotiations are at such a delicate stage that the Blues are refusing to talk publicly about the people who could own the club by the end of June.
By Derek Davis
IPSWICH Town are in takeover talks with at least two interested parties, the EADT can reveal today.
Negotiations are at such a delicate stage that the Blues are refusing to talk publicly about the people who could own the club by the end of June.
The EADT understands that chairman David Sheepshanks and chief executive Derek Bowden have agreed in principle to sell the club, although talks are still at a relatively early stage.
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An Ipswich Town spokesman last night said: “We are able to confirm that we are exploring a number of different options to bring new investment to the club,” he said.
Town shareholders Michael Spencer and Holly Bellingham both hold almost 15% of shares already and are in prime positions to make a move - either would be acceptable new owners to the existing board.
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Spencer, who jumped 10 places and is now 88th in Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated wealth of £803m, is not a football fan himself but his two sons are and have visited Portman Road recently.
The Blues are in competition with half a dozen other Championship clubs who have also held talks with the same potential investors as Ipswich have been dealing with.
Sheepshanks is known to have spoken informally with Graeme Souness who is leading a consortium that has already been linked with Wolves, Southampton and Town, and that has subsequently been followed up.
Among other interested parties believed to have made shown an interest to take on the club and wipe out its major debts are Kia Joorabchian and Israeli businessman Eli Papoushado who failed in an attempt to buy West Ham earlier this season.
Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, who denied reports over the weekend that he was about to buy Southampton, is another potential candidate and with a £9bn fortune would have no trouble financing the deal.
Former Thai Prime Minister Thakun Shinawarta has been putting feelers out in case his move for Manchester City fails, while Sissu, the group behind Ray Ranson City bid, are also keen to find a Championship club if they fail in securing a Premiership side.
There have also been suggestions that an Irish consortium with horse-racing connections have been in contact with the club.