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By ESPN Staff
Jan 19, 2007

Belgravia pull out of Newcastle takeover bid

Newcastle have claimed they ran out of patience with The Belgravia Group after negotiations over a possible takeover came to an end.

The Jersey-based investment group announced to the Stock Exchange earlier today that they had been unable to agree a price following lengthy talks, which began in August.

But Newcastle have countered with a statement which revealed 'the board has been concerned by the length of time that Belgravia has required to determine whether or not it intended to put forward an offer'.

They approached the Takeover Panel last week and asked for a deadline to be imposed for Belgravia to either make an offer or withdraw from the process.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange, the club said: 'The board of Newcastle United PLC notes today's announcement by Belgravia that it no longer intends to make an offer for Newcastle United.

'On 21 August 2006, Belgravia announced that it was examining the potential opportunity of acquiring Newcastle United.

'Since that date, the board of Newcastle United has, with its advisors, met several times with Belgravia to explore whether an offer could be forthcoming that was in the best interests of shareholders and the club.

'Despite the assistance provided by the company, the board has been concerned by the length of time that Belgravia has required to determine whether or not it intended to put forward an offer, and the inherent uncertainty that this has caused for the company, shareholders and for the club's supporters.

'Consequently, the board of Newcastle United approached the Takeover Panel last week and requested that it impose a deadline for Belgravia to either put forward a proposal or to withdraw from the process.

'The board of Newcastle United wishes to make clear that at no time was any formal offer put to the board for it and its advisors to consider, nor was the company satisfied that Belgravia had secured the necessary funding for such an offer to be put forward.'

Belgravia's statement had claimed: 'Despite lengthy and protracted negotiations, Belgravia has been unable to agree a price and transaction structure, which it feels would have been in the best interests of those involved, as well as being in the best interests of the football club and its supporters.'

However, the group insist they could still return to the table if circumstances change.

Their statement added: 'Belgravia reserves the right to announce an offer or possible offer or make or participate in an offer or possible offer for Newcastle and/or take any other action which would otherwise be restricted under rule 2.8 of the City code within the next six months, in the event that an agreement or recommendation from the board of Newcastle is forthcoming or there is an announcement by a third party of an offer or there is a material change in circumstances.'