Saturday, August 11, 2007

QPR-Flavior Briatore Takeover Update

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Telegraph - Flavio Briatore in talks to buy QPR - By David Bond

Flavio Briatore, the flamboyant boss of Formula One team Renault, said last night that he was in the early stages of talks to buy Queens Park Rangers.
The Italian businessman, who has close links to Bernie Ecclestone, is believed to be considering a £30 million deal to save the Championship club and help fund a push for promotion to the Premier League.
He said: "We are in the early stages. We have had some discussions, but nothing has been signed."
It is understood talks are set to continue over the weekend. Briatore did not reveal, however, whether Ecclestone, the billionaire ringmaster of F1, was involved in the deal.
QPR's chairman Gianni Paladini has been searching for months for new investors to prevent the club from going into administration.
They are losing around £2 million a year and are £21 million in debt with a £10 million loan to the ABC Corporation due to be repaid next year. A further £7 million is owed to directors and the taxman.
Any deal with Briatore would involve taking on those debts and investing around £10 million for manager John Gregory to spend on new players.
That price would nevertheless be expensive for a club outside the Premiership with no possibility of modernising their Loftus Road ground.
It is understood that one of the plans being discussed is a proposal to sell Loftus Road to property developers and move the club to a new site currently owned by the BBC at White City.
Paladini recently added Kevin Steele, a property lawyer from Mishcon de Reya, to the QPR board to advise on redevelopment options, with Hammersmith and Fulham Council believed to be in favour of the plans. Telegraph

The Times - August 11, 2007 - Ecclestone on verge of launching Arsenal bid - Kevin Eason

Bernie Ecclestone is counting down the days until he can secure control of Arsenal in one of English football’s most astonishing takeover deals. In an exclusive interview with The Times, the Formula One impresario revealed that he would be “interested in buying the club today”, if it were on the market. ...
Ecclestone had been linked with a takeover of Queens Park Rangers in concert with Flavio Briatore, the principal at the Renault Formula One team and one of his closest allies. But he emphatically ruled himself out of the deal yesterday, saying that Briatore was acting alone. Instead, Ecclestone’s eyes are fixed on Arsenal and transforming the club into a mirror image of his huge Formula One empire.
Briatore’s appearance at QPR is more mysterious. The flamboyant Italian confirmed yesterday that he was in talks with the club and QPR are desperate for a buyer with cash. The Coca-Cola Championship club are staggering under the weight of a £10 million high-interest loan and have spent months trying to satisfy creditors. At one point this year they even faced a winding-up order from the St John Ambulance service over an unpaid bill of £18,000.
It is thought that Briatore would probably get the club at a price below the £30 million regularly quoted, because of the debt burden. But he would still be faced with financing a reconstruction plan capable of getting QPR back into the top flight for the first time in 11 years.
Briatore, who is thought to be worth about £70 million, is said to have pledged £10 million for transfers, but more would be needed and he is not in the wealth class of someone such as Ecclestone. However, he is one of the best connected men in Europe and could find backers easily to help to broker a quick takeover. The Times

DAILY MIRROR - FLAVIO IN POLE FOR QPR

Formula One tycoon Flavio Briatore last night played down claims he was on the verge of taking over troubled Queens Park Rangers.
The Italian billionaire was said to be ready to buy out Rangers chief Gianni Paladini in a £25million deal, which could also have seen his close pal Bernie Ecclestone being involved.
Paladini and partner Antonio Caliendo own 47 per cent of the cash-strapped Loftus Road club and are desperate to find a buyer ready to invest in the Championship side. But while Briatore confirmed he had received an approach through intermediaries, he explained: "It is something that has been brought to our attention and there have been some superficial preliminary talks.
"There is nothing concrete so far at all, nothing signed or discussed beyond a very preliminary stage." Mirror

See Also:

Earlier Compilation of Takeover Stories - I

Earlier Compilation of "Takeover Stories - II"

QPR1st Reaction and Les Ferdinand Reaction