Joorabchian confirms interest in West Ham takeover

September 5, 2006

Kia Joorabchian confirmed to the Stock Exchange this afternoon he is considering making a takeover bid for West Ham.

But the Iranian-born financier insisted any move would not be made in the immediate future following the recent death of his father, Mohammed.

West Ham confirmed last Friday they have held 'exploratory discussions' regarding a takeover.

The statement read: 'Kia Joorabchian wishes to clarify that he has not ruled out the option of making a bid for West Ham United PLC but, due to a recent family bereavement, the immediate focus of his attention is on family matters.

'There can be no certainty that an offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any such offer might be made.'

Joorabchian first investigated a takeover bid for West Ham last summer when he was president of Media Sports Investment.

A potential £200million deal was shelved in November after MSI failed to agree on a valuation for the club with current West Ham chairman Terry Brown.

But contact between the two parties was maintained and last Thursday West Ham completed the double signing of Argentina internationals Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, two players controlled by Joorabchian.

In 2004, Joorabchian had fronted MSI's deal to take control of Brazilian club Corinthians on a 10-year lease.

They furnished the club with a number of star players - including Tevez and Mascherano - plus new sponsorship deals which increased the club's income by 500 per cent.

Joorabchian resigned from MSI in June and is now working as an independent investor, although he has retained an interest in Tevez and Mascherano.

In their own Stock Exchange statement last Friday, West Ham confirmed that any potential takeover is not 'contractually linked' to the arrival of Tevez and Mascherano at Upton Park.

It has been reported but not confirmed that Joorabchian is building a consortium of financiers from the Middle East, while Georgian businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili confirmed on Friday evening he has considered investing in a bid for West Ham.

A statement issued on his behalf read: 'It is true that Kia Joorabchian is my friend and we have done business together in the past.

'At this time I am not involved in any possible bid for West Ham but I am thinking about it and cannot exclude such a possibility in the future.'

Joorabchian has also been closely linked to Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who has been granted political asylum in London and is a former business associate of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

But Berezovsky insists he is not interested in investing in West Ham now or in the future.