Town hits share issue goal
IPSWICH Town Football Club has hit the minimum target for its share issue – but with little room to spare.Just days after the 10-goal thriller at Portman Road against Crewe Alexandra, which Town eventually won 6-4, the club faced another nail-biter, this time off the pitch, as the deadline for the share offer loomed.
By Duncan Brodie
IPSWICH Town Football Club has hit the minimum target for its share issue – but with little room to spare.
Just days after the 10-goal thriller at Portman Road against Crewe Alexandra, which Town eventually won 6-4, the club faced another nail-biter, this time off the pitch, as the deadline for the share offer loomed.
When the applications were checked yesterday, following the deadline of 5pm on Monday, valid subscriptions were found to total 64,144 shares which, at £20 per share, represents a sum of £1,282,880.
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This compares with a target of £1.25 million which the club set when the share issue was launched last November – the sum deemed to be necessary to meet its working capital requirements for the next year.
However, the club has also raised an additional £50,000 through the issue of new loan notes linked with the share offer, taking the overall total to £1,332,880.
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And the club has also decided to exercise its powers under the terms of the offer to extend the deadline for applications until 5pm on Friday, January 30, in the hope of adding to the total still further.
After the costs of the share issue are taken into account, the net proceeds to the club so far probably stand at somewhere in the region of £1million – not a vast sum in modern football but one which fans will hope can underpin the drive for promotion back to the Premiership.
In a joint statement yesterday, club chairman David Sheepshanks and chief executive Derek Bowden said: “The directors wish to record their appreciation and thanks to all those who have invested in the share issue to date.
“Since the club is still receiving application forms, the directors are exercising their discretion to extend the closing date until 5pm on January 30, 2004, which will also give those supporters and friends of the club who have not yet subscribed for shares in Ipswich Town plc the opportunity to do so.”
The statement added that the directors would not extend the offer beyond January 30, meaning that the next week and a half represent the final chance for anyone still thinking about buying shares.
Besides rank-and-file Town fans and local businesses, a number of celebrity supporters have indicated their support for the share issue, including Charlie Simpson of pop band busted, BBC commentator John Motson and world champion swimmer Karen Pickering.
The Ipswich Town directors, manager Joe Royle and most members of the first team playing squad have also pledged their support.
Details of all purchases remain confidential but the fact that £50,000 has been raised through new loan notes does indicate that the share issue has attracted one or two major investors.
Loan notes – on which the club will pay interest, known as a “coupon”, of 6% a year, in contrast with the shares on which no dividend is likely to be paid – were only available to subscribers buying at least £25,000 of shares.
The minimum subscription for loan notes was another £25,000, indicating either that someone has put a total of £100,000 into the club or that two people have come up with £50,000 each.
n Copies of the share issue prospectus remain available from the club's main reception at the Constantine Road entrance to the Portman Road stadium or from the Planet Blue stores in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, or can be obtained by calling 01473 400595 or e-mailing email@example.com .