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Watford supporters’ group concern over takeover bid

Watford Supporters’ Trust has questioned the takeover bid made for the club by Watford Football Club Limited, with a concern for minority shareholders.

Earlier this month a £440,000 offer was made for the npower Championship side by the group fronted by Panos Thomas and backed financially by Laurence Bassin.

Lord Ashcroft, Graham Simpson and Yianna Simpson, who between them own 53.95% of the shares, have agreed to accept the offer but the supporters group has expressed some fears over the bid.

A statement from the group said:  "While we recognise that further details of the offer will be available in the formal offer document to be released before the end of this month and the Trust is not for or against the offer on principle, we have a number of concerns with the proposed offer as we understand it at present.

"Minority shareholders (many of whom are fans) are likely to lose a significant amount of their investment as, if they decide to sell, they will receive only 1p per share. If minority shareholders choose not to sell their shares then it is probable that they will lose the value of their investment completely when Watford Leisure is delisted from the AIM market since they will find it difficult to sell their shares.

"We are concerned that the proposed transaction may unfairly prejudice minority shareholders and reduce the influence that supporters have had with the club, both individually and through the Trust."

Current owners Watford Leisure PLC are making a loss with a figure of around £3.5m needed in working capital at Vicarage Road.


Scott Hobro

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