Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday June 7 2006
Can someone explain to me the difference between a new board coming in and selling the land Aston Villa own and our current board doing it?
Why would the one set be seen as 'asset strippers' but the present incumbents aren't?
Still very good news, especially for Doug and his merry men who have made yet another balls up in running this PLC
Anyway, Villa have made the following announcement:
The Board of Aston Villa Plc ('Aston Villa' or the 'Company') has today conditionally agreed to dispose of an area of non-core land and property (the 'Serpentine Property'), for a gross consideration of £7.31 million in cash to Birmingham Community Sports Limited (the 'Disposal').
The Serpentine Property comprises land and buildings lying between Serpentine Road to the north and Aston Hall Road to the south in Aston, Birmingham. The use of the property by the Company is limited to match day car parking adjacent to Aston Villa Football Club.
In the year ended 31 May 2005, the Serpentine Property generated income before tax of £27,684. The cost of the assets of the Serpentine Property as at 30 November 2005 amounted to approximately £0.1 million.
The net book value of the Serpentine Property at 30 November 2005 amounted to approximately £0.1 million. The net proceeds from the Disposal will allow the Company to reduce debt within the group and will also be used for general corporate purposes.
As a result of a preliminary approach made to Aston Villa on 19 September 2005 (subsequently confirmed as being made by Aston Villa Investments Limited ('AVIL')) which might or might not lead to an offer for the Company, Aston Villa was placed into an offer period under the Takeover Code (the 'Code'). Following the original approach from AVIL, discussions have also been held with a number of other interested parties. These discussions are on-going and the Board will provide you with further information as and when there is a material change to their status.
In such circumstances, Rule 21.1 of the Code restricts Aston Villa from entering into arrangements other than in the ordinary course of business without shareholder approval.
Shareholder approval for the Disposal will therefore be sought at an Extraordinary General Meeting ('EGM') to be held on 10 July 2006. The notice convening the EGM, along with further details on the Disposal, will be set out in a circular to be sent to shareholders shortly.
The EGM will be held solely to vote upon a resolution to approve the Disposal. No other matter will be considered. The Disposal will be approved if a simple majority of the shares voted in person at the EGM, or by proxy, are voted in favour of it.
The sale and purchase agreement in relation to the Disposal (the 'Disposal Agreement') provides for shareholder approval to be obtained on or before 31 July 2006. In the event that shareholder approval is not so obtained, the Disposal Agreement may be terminated by Birmingham Community Sports Limited or the Company.
In the event that shareholder approval is so obtained, the Disposal Agreement becomes unconditional.
On satisfaction of the condition precedent, the Disposal Agreement provides for completion of the Disposal of the Serpentine Property on or before 7 December 2006. On completion, the sale consideration will be payable.
In order to give greater certainty that the Disposal will complete, the Company has obtained irrevocable undertakings from the Directors of Aston Villa to vote in favour of the resolution proposed at the EGM to approve the Disposal (the 'Resolution'), in respect of 3,946,914 shares in aggregate, representing approximately 34.47 per cent. of the existing issued share capital of Aston Villa. In the event, that the Board is notified by a third party of an intention to make an offer for the share capital of the Company prior to approval of this Disposal at the EGM on 10 July 2006, these irrevocable undertakings will lapse.
The Board considers the Disposal to be in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders as a whole.
Date:Wednesday June 7 2006
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