Thursday, August 18, 2005


Takeover Bid

C&P from BBC Sports.

Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian says he would make £100m available for new players if his takeover plans for West Ham are successful.

Joorabchian, who heads the London-based Media Sports Investment firm, is planning a £200m takeover bid.

"There is huge potential there," said the 34-year-old.

"There's no point in buying West Ham unless you are going to invest in turning them into one of the top teams in the country."

Joorabchian was taken for a tour of the stadium when he visited West Ham for preliminary negotiations last month.

However, Joorabchian's £45m valuation of the club's equity is believed to be £15m short of the board's valuation.

"My West Ham project has to be worth around £200m," he added.

"That breaks down as £45m on buying the club, £30m on its debts, another £30m to keep the cashflow going and around £100m on new players.

"At one point we are going to make a bid, although at the moment we have not done anything.

"The fact that I want to buy a European club is obvious and there is still a possibly it could be another Premiership club other than West Ham."

Joorabchian insists that if any formal takeover is launched, it would not take place this year.

"If there is any bid made, it will only be for next year," he said.

"But if next week the board of directors decides that they want to start to make a bid to take over in January, then we may do that."

West Ham marked their return to the Premiership with a 3-1 opening-day victory over Blackburn at Upton Park.

And in his programme notes, chairman Terry Brown admitted the club would look at any serious offers.

"Any serious proposition will be carefully studied," he said. "I am not about protecting my position. I know I am a mere custodian of the club."

Last year MSI bought a 51% stake in Brazilian club Corinthians.

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