Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday August 17 2006
This article, that appears in the Sun today, hopefully vindicates what I have been carefully trying to say. Lerner Right Way - Padfield Wrong (and if there was space in the title section it would have said Padfield Wrong Way but our characters are limited!)
Approaching the press to mount a takeover is not the right way to go about things and I for one would hate a group who don't know this to succeed in a takeover. We already have one person outgoing who (lets be diplomatic here) wasn't that great, we don't want another bunch to carry on with that non-fine tradition. It also appears that they don't realise the transfer window was August 31st, if they did, with the numerous billionaires they have lined up (!) I'm sure they would have put in an actual bid?
The Sun claim that Randy Lerner is now closer to completing his takeover because AV06 face a rap across the knuckles from the Takeover Panel.
They explain AV06, fronted by judge Nicholas Padfield, announced on Tuesday that they would be mounting a £70m counter-bid. But to go public with an intention is against the complicated Stock Exchange rules. Now some investors may decide to hang on to their holdings, hoping to rake in even more money.
So hopefully my article yesterday now becomes a bit clearer and those that have misinterpreted me will understand a little more what I was on about.
The Lerner group have done it the right way. It is now down to shareholders to decide for themselves if they are right for Aston Villa. They approached through Rothschilds, they spoke with the board, they did due dilligence and they decided to make a formal offer.
Anyone approaching through the press has to be doubted surely? There have been other groups looking, one I have spoken with and was very impressed that again, they approached the fans group, they hadn't done their talking in the press and they were considering whether or not to bid.
The Sun also say that AV06 have nearly run out of time to make an unconditional offer for the club. If they fail to approach the brokers Rothschild today, then Lerner can put the champagne on ice.
The Lerner group, (RAL) do have 56.7% agreed with Doug (+ family) and Jack Petchey's shares. Now IF shareholders like the offer and decide to accept, a speedy response with returned share certificates will mean the takeover can go through in under the 21 days since the offer.
Again, I need to clarify as I've been misquoted elsewhere, I have not told any shareholders that they SHOULD sell their shares. That is down to all individual shareholders. I have said that IF (IF IF IF) the shareholder agrees with the offer and wants to help facilitate a quick takeover, then they should return their forms as quickly as they can.
I can see nothing wrong with that and stand by the comments. It is no different to what is said on the forms. The form says:
Recommended Cash Offer That is recommended by the board. It also says This document is important and requires your immediate attention also advising if you are in doubt to talk to a financial advisor.
So for those that want to mis-quote me to cause mischief, I think I'd warn you against it. Everything done has been documented, my legal advice comes from a top city lawyer totally unconnected with any group and I'll not apologise for stating my clear belief that, as endorsed by the board, the Randy Lerner bid is a good one and I firmly believe these guys will take Aston Villa back to where we belong. IF another group had bid, the situation would be different, if AV06 bid, I'd not change my position because of the way they approached. That is my personal opinion, I'm entitled to it.
Up the Villa, happy days!
Date:Thursday August 17 2006
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