Newcastle to consider possible takeover bid

August 20, 2006

Newcastle could be the latest Premiership club to be the subject of a takeover battle.

A Jersey-based investment company, Belgravia Group, have reportedly made an approach to buy the north-east club.

According to The Sunday Times, the club are in talks with Belgravia, which runs a range of investments including property and equity funds.

A spokesman for the group told the paper they saw the possible acquisition of Newcastle as 'an attractive opportunity' and added: 'It is at an early stage and nothing is finalised.'

The paper claims the group have held talks with former club chairman Sir John Hall, who controls 28.8% of the quoted club. His son Douglas owns 12% of the company with Magpies chairman Freddy Shepherd owning a 28% stake.

Shepherd has recently being adding to his interest in the club which is believed to be worth around £81million.

Belgravia Group are thought to manage more than £1billion for wealthy investors.

Aston Villa have been the subject of a takeover bid with American billionaire Randy Lerner having tabled a £62.6million offer for the club. He could, however, face opposition from other groups.

Premiership clubs have become attractive targets for moguls.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich owns Chelsea, the Glazer family control Manchester United and Alexandre Gaydamak owns Portsmouth.