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Oct 10, 2008

Charlton to be taken over by Dubai investors?

Charlton Athletic appear set to become the latest club to be taken over by Dubai-based investors, after receiving a "indicative cash offer" from Zabeel Investments, a company previously linked with Newcastle United.

A statement from the Championship club has revealed they will receive significant investment as part of a takeover from the Middle East.

The statement on the Charlton website read: "The board of Charlton Athletic plc announced on Friday that it has received an indicative cash offer from Zabeel Investments, a Dubai-based diversified investment company.

"The indicative offer is subject to a number of preconditions, including due diligence. However, it is at a level at which, should the offer be made formally to shareholders, the board would recommend shareholders to accept it."

"Despite being approached by various English football clubs, as well as a number of well-known clubs in Europe and South America, Zabeel Investments believes Charlton is the right club for them.

"The board will keep the shareholders, fans and employees updated with any further developments."

Last year Charlton were subject of interest from a group of businessmen from the Middle East and Europe, but takeover talks were later called off. The bid valued the club at around £50 million.

No figure has yet been quoted for the sale of the club to Zabeel Investments.

Derek Chappell, plc chairman, and Richard Murray, chairman of the football club, commented: "The board firmly believes that a successful outcome for this transaction would be beneficial to shareholders and employees of Charlton, all fans of the club and the local community as a whole."

Mohammed Al Hashimi, executive chairman of Zabeel Investments, added: "We feel now is the right time to make a strategic, long-term investment in Charlton and get Charlton back to the English Premier League where the club belongs.

"The passion of the fans at Charlton, the heritage of the club and the unique status it enjoys in the community make it an exciting proposition for us.

"For the purposes of the takeover code, this announcement has been made with the consent of Zabeel Investments."

The Newcastle Evening Chronicle reported in September that the North East club snubbed a £200 million takeover offer from Zabeel Investments, with owner Mike Ashley holding out for a higher bid.

Early reports suggested that Tony Jimenez, who quit his role as Newcastle vice president of player recruitment on Thursday, played a role in brokering the Charlton deal.

Charlton dropped out of the Premier League in 2007 and were forced to sell several players over the summer, with Chris Iwelumo, Marcus Bent, Madjid Bougherra and Amdy Faye all leaving the club. The Addicks currently lie 14th in the Championship with four wins from ten games.

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