American billionaire bids to take over Pompey

Discussion in 'Portsmouth' started by PompeyLapras, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. PompeyLapras

    PompeyLapras Well-Known Member

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    http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/sport/f...illionaire-bids-to-take-over-pompey-1-7874456

    The News can exclusively reveal the former Walt Disney Corporation chairman is in negotiations to take ownership of the League Two club.

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    Michael Eisner
    The 75-year-old is eager to become involved in an English football club through his Tornante investment group.


    But Pompey’s chief executive Mark Catlin insisted any prospective deal would have to be put forward to shareholders.


    He said: ‘Since becoming a community club, we have taken great pride in our honesty and transparency with shareholders and supporters alike, aligned with what has to naturally stay private and confidential in the course of any normal business dealings.

    ______________________________________________

    If an offer of investment was received – from a credible individual or group – the directors would firstly conduct a period of due diligence on the strength of the offer.
    Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin

    ‘Regarding any potential new investment in the club, we have a robust process in place that if an offer of investment was received – from a credible individual or group – the directors would firstly conduct a period of due diligence on the strength of the offer.

    ‘They would then formally advise shareholders, including all Trust shareholders, who have their own directors on the main board.

    ‘All shareholders would be involved from the start of the ensuing process.’

    Mr Eisner boasts an impressive CV, which includes 21 years at 
Disney as both CEO and chairman, before departing in 2005.

    He has also served as president at Paramount Pictures, the studio producing films such as Saturday 
Night Fever, Grease and Raiders of the Lost Ark during his time.

    And now the Eisner family are now keen to enter football and have identified Pompey as a club rich in potential with Championship or Premier League aims.

    It is understood Mr Eisner is also attracted by the story of how the club was saved by its supporters in April 2013, its community ethos and the successful financial restructuring since emerging from administration.

    He last week held negotiations in Portsmouth and, along with his family, attended the 4-0 Fratton Park midweek victory over Grimsby.

    However he did not sit in the directors’ box, instead allocated seating elsewhere in the South stand.

    Pompey’s board have been scrutinising whether the Tornante investment group represent credible interest, with the club having been stung by a succession of bad owners in the past during its well-publicised demise.

    However, ultimately, should their bid be accepted, it will be down to all club shareholders, including the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, to approve any potential deal.

    As the largest single shareholder, the Trust’s 48.48-per-cent stake will be crucial in deciding the outcome.

    Pompey’s remaining 51.52 per cent shares are distributed among the 16 presidents, who will vote individually.

    In September, The News revealed how the club were seeking fresh investment and undergoing a valuation process.

    Since community ownership was put in place almost four years ago, there have been a number of parties to enquire about becoming involved with the club, yet none have progressed as far as Mr Eisner.

    The club have declined to comment directly on any interest by a specific group.

    Pompey have been declared debt free since September 2014 following the early settlement of £7m legacy administration debts and have continued to make annual operating profits.



    Not sure how I feel about this. I love the fact that we're owned by the fans, but I guess we need external funding to reaching the Championship (not that bothered about the Premier League).... Also, no-one can objectively say Fratton Park isn't a dump so a new stadium would be nice (or significant investment in Fratton Park itself, which may be harder due to lack of land and planning restrictions)... but I don't wanna end up just another billionaire's plaything and we all know what happened last time.
     
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  2. sensiblegreeny

    sensiblegreeny Well-Known Member
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    I popped over to your Board earlier when I read this on the beeb football site expecting it to be full of comments either for or against and there was nothing here. Given this bloke is a billionaire despite the connections to Mickey Mouse you might have to live with, I would have thought you would have been a tad pleased. The reception seems a bit luke warm. If you don't want him please pass him on in our direction. I have already ordered a pair of big ears from e-bay. I'm not proud.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  3. PompeyLapras

    PompeyLapras Well-Known Member

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    We had an army of so-called billionaires/millionaires who nearly ruined the clubs: Suleman Al-Fahim, Ali Al-Maraj, Balram Chanrai, Vladimir Antanov (if that was his name, I can't recall for certain) and even Sacha Gaydamak eventually nearly killed us. Forgive me if I'm not welcoming this guy with open arms.
     
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  4. Wooperts_duck

    Wooperts_duck Well-Known Member

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    Come off it Sensible, Big Ears is a mate of Noddy's, written by Enid Blyton - nothing to do with Walt Disney !! Get your facts right man !!!
     
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  5. sensiblegreeny

    sensiblegreeny Well-Known Member
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    Bleddy e-bay seen me off again.<steam>

    I see you read all the classics<badger>
     
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  6. Wooperts_duck

    Wooperts_duck Well-Known Member

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    Yep. To think until I was 12, I believed that Winnie the Pooh was a book about someone called Winnie's bodily functions.......<doh>
     
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  7. PompeyLapras

    PompeyLapras Well-Known Member

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    So I gather you're pretty indifferent about this Yank, Woop?
     
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  8. sensiblegreeny

    sensiblegreeny Well-Known Member
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    Oh christ don't spoil it I'm just reading that one........:eek:.

    You mean he doesn't **** in the woods?
     
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  9. Wooperts_duck

    Wooperts_duck Well-Known Member

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    Half of me is extremely proud of the fact that PFC are not in any debt, and are owned by the fans, the other half realise that without any proper investment, we cannot easily progress up the league.

    I'm sure that our CEO Mark Catlin will be extremely dilligent in 'sussing out' this billionaire, making certain that he does have the best of intentions, as well as plenty of dosh to invest now and in the future.
     
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  10. MAJR

    MAJR Well-Known Member

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    I am hugely sceptical about the legitimacy of the story because it just seems like some kind of joke, and like maybe someone's laying the ground works for an April Fools gag, but if it is real and it does happen I would hope that it would be a kind of power share and Eisner wouldn't be sole owner - because I feel the club needs to be at least partly in ownership of the local fans since their dedication is far more perminant and long-lasting while any billionaire could drop the club on a whim, and it's better to have dedication fans being able to have some say in how the club than no say at all.
     
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  11. devonFRATTONiser

    devonFRATTONiser Well-Known Member
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    Once bitten twice shy

    Or in our case x times bitten (x+1) times shy (I've given up trying to work out the value of x)

    It'd be great if it happened, but how many times have we said that since Milan Mandaric sold up?
     
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  12. 3rd eye

    3rd eye Well-Known Member

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    The story has got legs.......... it's come out now because the News were going to run it, so the club and the trust had to get their statements together quickly. Michael Eisner was CEO of Disney until a boardroom revolt forced him out. Before us Eisner was looking at buying out Reading FC. He does have a track record for philanthropic giving though.

    There is a dreadful blog by Micah Hall where he makes all sorts of assertions with seemingly no evidence to back up his assumptions. Eisner wants a 100% purchase though, so don't think there will be 2 owners, ie the trust will have to agree to the sale.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
  13. Wooperts_duck

    Wooperts_duck Well-Known Member

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    Here is the Micah Hall blog:- https://micahhall.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/pompey-in-disneyland/

    In his defence, a number of Micah Hall's blogs in the dark days of Balram Chanrai's ownership, helped to rid Portsmouth Football Club of his annoying presence, and basically saved the club from oblivion.

    Personally, I am still undecided about what should/will happen with regards to the possible sale of our club. Just hope the uncertainty doesn't affect our promotion aspirations over the next few weeks.
     
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  14. 3rd eye

    3rd eye Well-Known Member

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    During those dark days Micah Hall was the public face of a group of people who did a lot of in-depth investigations. This blog... not so much.

    According to the FT we're in advanced negotiations with Eisner https://www.ft.com/content/ceef2732-0efa-11e7-a88c-50ba212dce4d

    It's going to be an interesting few months that's for sure.
     
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  15. pompeymeowth

    pompeymeowth Leader of Team Rocket
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  16. Wooperts_duck

    Wooperts_duck Well-Known Member

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    Portsmouth are to enter into exclusive discussions with former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner about a potential takeover of the club.

    Reports of Eisner, 75, and his Tornante Investment Group's interest in the League Two club emerged on Monday.

    A 70-day negotiation and due diligence period has begun between the parties.

    Portsmouth have been a fan-owned club since exiting administration in 2013,with the Pompey Supporters' Trust (PST) owning 48% of its shares.

    Eisner, who is also a former President of Paramount Pictures, posted on Twitter: "Exciting times! Looking forward to coming over and meeting you all. Good luck against Newport County on Saturday!!"

    Portsmouth are third in League Two, four points inside the automatic promotion places, with eight games remaining this season.

    "I think it's great for Pompey fans in general," manager Paul Cook told BBC Radio Solent.

    "Our board and everyone involved, to take the club from where it was three and a half years ago to where it is now, speaks volumes for a lot of people.

    "I'll concentrate on Newport on Saturday and hope everything goes well on that side."

    'Cautious optimism'
    Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin welcomed the news of Eisner's interest, but warned the process is in its early stages.

    "I think the buzzwords we've got to use are cautious optimism," he said.

    "Michael Eisner will have to prove his worth. He's a real individual with a proven track record of dealing with the public and dealing with them in a very responsible manner.

    "He's heavily committed into community charitable causes back in the USA. So, he ticks a lot of boxes and has gone over a lot of hurdles to get to this point."

    Shareholders to have final say
    During negotiations, Eisner is expected to explain his future strategy and plans for the club to all shareholders. Portsmouth will not engage in discussions with any other potential bidder during the 70-day period.

    Its board have retained Trevor Birch to advise them during the negotiating process, who will liaise with all of the club's stakeholders.

    Birch, a former administrator of the club when it came close to liquidation in 2012, will be key to understanding the club's "community ethos and intricacies of the current fan ownership model", a statement said.

    If a proposed deal is negotiated successfully, shareholders will vote on whether to accept it.
     
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  17. The Liebherr Legacy

    The Liebherr Legacy Well-Known Member

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    Staying away from the obvious Mickey Mouse club jokes :biggrin: this seems to have legs and looks like it could happen.

    What are your thoughts? Obviously a lot will be skeptical after the likes of Chanrai and Al Mirage etc. but would say if this guy knows what he's doing then your ceiling becomes a lot higher than what is currently.

    Could be an interesting Summer... for both of us <ok>
     
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  18. Wooperts_duck

    Wooperts_duck Well-Known Member

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    As long as everything is as it seems with regards to Michael Eisner, then this could be the only way we can financially progress up the leagues, Liebherr.

    Exciting times ahead - hopefully.....
     
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  19. The Liebherr Legacy

    The Liebherr Legacy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that's what I was getting at, genuinely hope it doesn't go tits up too <ok>

    I'm cautiously excited about us too, with a little worry about the unknown. In an ideal world I'd like to stay under Kats ownership for a long time but know it's unrealistic.

    All we can do as fans is watch, wait and hope. In our case if it goes well it could be exactly what we need to push on and challenge for Europe reguarly.

    In your case this could be perfect timing if it happens alongside a promotion.

    Guess we'll have to wait & see I suppose.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
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  20. TheSecondStain

    TheSecondStain Needs an early night

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    Fingers crossed all goes well for your takeover. That's if you people want it, of course. I can only assume you would want it, as Eisner won't be wanting to linger in the lower leagues too long. New stadium would follow fairly soon afterwards, I suspect, too. Good luck with it all.
     
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