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Nov 29, 2010

Mandaric saves Sheffield Wednesday

League One side Sheffield Wednesday have been saved from the threat of administration after Milan Mandaric's £8 million takeover was confirmed to the Stock Exchange on Monday.

• Johnson: Owls facing taxing times
• Statement in full

Mandaric has quit as chairman of Championship side Leicester City and has agreed to wipe out Wednesday's debts, reported to be in the region of £30 million, after reaching agreement with all their major creditors.

Wednesday, one of the founder members of the Premier League in 1992, are chasing promotion from League One and chairman Howard Wilkinson has hailed Mandaric's takeover as "one of the most important days in the recent history of our great club".

Wilkinson said: "Our trials and tribulations have been well documented, but I can now see a brighter future for Sheffield Wednesday. Our club has been on the brink of administration and if this were to happen then so many people around our club would have suffered."

Shareholders have yet to give the final all clear to the deal but the club has said they already have "irrevocable undertakings from 43.6 percent of the company's shareholders to vote in favour of the deal" at an extraordinary general meeting on December 14.

Former Portsmouth chief Mandaric said: "Sheffield Wednesday is one of the most famous names in football.

"I give the supporters and everybody who cares for this club an assurance that if shareholders vote in favour of this deal, then I will do everything in my power, working with Howard, Nick and (Wednesday manager) Alan Irvine to again make Sheffield Wednesday a real force in English football."

Serbian-born businessman Mandaric agreed a £7 million settlement with Wednesday's main creditors, the Co-operative Bank, who were owed £23million, last week.

Three other directors and two former board members also agreed to Mandaric's offer to pay off the money they were owed in loan notes and although former chairman Dave Allen rejected an initial £250,000 offer for his 9.5% stake in the club, an agreement was finally reached in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Wednesday were granted an extra four weeks to settle an outstanding £600,000 tax bill in the High Court a week last Friday and faced certain administration had they been unable to find a major new investor.

  • Statement in full

    The Board of Sheffield Wednesday PLC ("the Board") can confirm that an agreement has been reached to sell Sheffield Wednesday Football Club Limited ("the Club") to UK Football Investments, LLC ("UKFI").

    This agreement is conditional on approval of the Company's shareholders and is part of a wider restructuring package, the completion of which will see the Club emerge from its recent financial troubles debt free.

    UK Football Investments, LLC is owned by the trustees of the Milan Mandaric 2008 Revocable Trust.

    The highlights of the agreement are:

    • UKFI will pay the Company GBP £1 to acquire 100% of the Club

    • UKFI have entered into an agreement with the Co-Operative Bank which will allow for the Club to move forward free of any residual debt

    • The current and former Directors other than David Allen who own loan notes in the Company have all agreed to waive a significant majority of the value of their debts, with any repayment of the remaining sum only taking place upon the Club gaining promotion to the Premier League

    • David Allen will receive an initial payment on completion of the acquisition along with a further payment upon the Club gaining promotion to the Premier League

    • Upon completion of the deal, Kenneth Cooke, Robert Grierson and Geoffrey Hulley shall resign as directors of both the Company and the Club

    • The new Board of the Club will consist of Milan Mandaric, who shall serve as Chairman and directors Howard Wilkinson and Nick Parker.

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