GFH Capital completes Leeds Utd takeover

Dubai-based investment bank finalises buyout of UK Championship football club
(Getty Images)
By Claire Valdini
Wed 21 Nov 2012 03:52 PM

GFH Capital, a subsidiary of
Bahrain-based investment bank Gulf Finance House, has confirmed its takeover of British
football club Leeds United for an undisclosed sum following months of
negotiations.

The football club, which
last won the English championship in 1992, will enter into a one-month
transitional period and following Football League approval GFH Capital will
become 100 percent owners, the club said in a statement on its website. 

“After a long process of
negotiations, spanning Leeds, London, Monaco, Dubai and Bahrain, it gives us
great pride today, to have completed the deal for Leeds United,” said David
Haigh, deputy CEO of GFH Capital.

“We have today injected
further funds into the club and now we look to the future and start the
exciting journey to take Leeds United FC back into a prime position in English
football once again,” he added.

Ken Bates will remain
chairman during the transition period after which he will take over as
president while Haigh will join the board with immediate effect, said the club.

GFH Capital executives
Hisham Alrayes and Salem Patel will join the board in December while manager
Neil Warnock will remain in his current position.

GHF Capital said it planned to purchase the club in September but protracted
negations between the two sides sparked frustration from fans.

Seventh-placed Leeds
declared a pre-tax profit after player trading of GBP£859,000 (US$1.3m) in 2010/11
on revenues of GBP£32.7m.

Haigh has previously vowed
to bring the club back to the Premier League. “We believe Leeds is in a
fantastically unique position for all sorts of factors,” he told The Daily
Telegraph
in October.

“We think Leeds has a
fantastic existing management and administration on and off the pitch and that,
with the right investment, we can build a sustainable future in that.

“It is about getting the
focus back on the football and ensuring Premier League promotion with engaged,
happy fans. We are long-term investors: there is no two or three-year exit
plan.”

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