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Blackburn Rovers takeover deal complete

Blackburn Rovers Football Club has confirmed that the Rao family have completed a takeover deal for the club for £23m.

Venky’s London Limited, a newly formed company, has purchased 99.9% of BRFC Investments Limited’s shareholding and will take on the club's debt, thought to be around £20m.

The deal brings to an end the Walker era of the club, which saw Rovers win the Premiership as well as suffering relegation to the old Division One before returning to the top-flight.

The Rao family’s flagship company is Venkateshwara Hatcheries Private Limited, the parent company of Venky's (India) Limited which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Blackburn chairman John Williams said:  “The successful conclusion of the deal is clearly a significant event in the history of the club. It represents the end of the remarkable Walker era, which saw Rovers projected to the top of the football pyramid. In the 10 years since Jack's death the board and trustees together have managed to build on Jack's legacy and preside over the club's longest term in the top flight since 1936.

“The Rao Family pursued the opportunity with determination and enthusiasm. The board will remain focused on what it does, providing important stability, a platform from which the new owners will be able to launch new ideas, particularly in markets outside the UK.”

Anuradha J Desai, the chairperson of Venky's, added: “We are delighted, proud and humbled to be associated with Blackburn Rovers, a team with whom we share many values and ambitions.

“Going forward we plan to focus on leveraging the global influence in establishing Blackburn Rovers as a truly global brand. We will absolutely respect the Jack Walker legacy and will be actively supporting the organisation to ensure that Blackburn Rovers remains one of the best run clubs within the Premier League.

“We are particularly pleased that the deal has the full support of the Walker Trust, the chairman and the management team who will of course remain in place with our full support.

"Blackburn Rovers is an historic institution that has won the Premier League and we want the fans to embrace us so that we are able to do our best in the interests of the club."

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