City investors in talks with Ipswich

IPSWICH Town are in talks with City financiers about a possible huge investment in the football club, the EADT understands.It is believed that a multi-million pound venture capitalist company is keen to buy out the Blues' existing debt and make a substantial investment in order to catapult Ipswich to the Premiership.

By Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town are in talks with City financiers about a possible huge investment in the football club, the EADT understands.

It is believed that a multi-million pound venture capitalist company is keen to buy out the Blues' existing debt and make a substantial investment in order to catapult Ipswich to the Premiership.

However, despite speculation, distressed debt specialist Sisu last night denied they were talking to Town bosses. Sisu are in talks about a takeover at Manchester City and once tried to buy Derby County.


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It is believed a London-based outfit, which specialises in debt restructuring and reviving distressed companies, is interested in the Blues. As venture capitalists they would handle hundreds of millions of pounds for investors so are primarily interested in making them money.

The EADT understands the interested party would buy the current £36million debt from Morley Fund Management, who handle it for Norwich Union, Barclays Bank and the Bank of Scotland at a significantly reduced price, and then buy a large amount of shares in the club.

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They would need to pay approximately £3.6m in order to secure enough shares for a 51% holding.

Although the Blues would need to call an extraordinary general meeting if they wanted to sell any more than 15%to any one investor, the current board, along with vice-president and 15% shareholder Michael Spencer, and Norwich Union, whose stake will rise to 10% in September, have enough shares to push through any motion.

It is believed the company would also provide enough capital to bolster Jim Magilton's playing budget so he can have a squad good enough to win promotion next year.

Once in the Premiership they would recoup their investment, make a healthy profit and sell within five years.

Although the hedge fund company would insist on a representative on the board, a football person who is acceptable to the current board, the existing directors would not be forcibly removed and David Sheepshanks would stay as chairman.

Ipswich Town last night declined to comment on the identity of the potential investor.

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