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Breaking news: Sir John Hall sells his share


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Mike Ashley (born 1964) is an English born billionaire retail entrepreneur, in the sports goods market.


Ranked 54th on the 2006 version of the Sunday Times Rich List, Ashley is an intensely private person, who never attends industry functions or gives interviews. Philip Beresford, who compiles the annual Sunday Times list, says neither he nor his staff have ever managed to contact Ashley, and describes him as "easily Britain's answer to the late Howard Hughes."[1]


On 23rd May 2007, Ashley bought 41.6% of Newcastle United. it is expected he will try and buy the remaining shares, to make him the complete owner of Newcastle United.

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Where's Chez when you need him?


What's the level required to transfer the debt of the purchasing company onto the target and would Shep holding on prevent such a move taking place?

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Stock market announcement


Cash Offer


St James Holdings Limited


Newcastle United PLC




· St James Holdings Limited (SJHL) (a company formed at the direction of Mike Ashley) announces that it has today acquired 55,342,223 Newcastle United Shares, representing approximately 41.6 per cent. of the issued share capital of Newcastle United, from Wynyard (Guernsey) Limited, Cameron Hall Developments Limited and Cameron Hall Developments Limited Executive Pension Scheme (the ultimate beneficial owners of each of which are all members of Sir John Hall’s family) at a price of 100 pence for each Newcastle United Share.


· SJHL is a UK private limited company which is wholly-owned by Mike Ashley and which has been incorporated for the specific purpose of acquiring Newcastle United Shares and making the Offer.


· In accordance with the provisions of Rule 9 of the City Code, SJHL also announces the terms of a cash offer to be made for all of the issued and to be issued share capital of Newcastle United which is not already owned by SJHL. SJHL intends to seek a recommendation of the Offer from the board of Newcastle United.


· The Offer will, when formally made, be conditional only upon the receipt of acceptances in respect of Newcastle United Shares which, together with the Newcastle United Shares acquired or agreed to be acquired before or during the Offer, will result in SJHL holding Newcastle United Shares carrying more than 50 per cent. of the voting rights in Newcastle United.


· The Offer will be 100 pence in cash for each Newcastle United Share, valuing the entire issued share capital of Newcastle United at £133.1 million


· The Offer represents:


o a premium of approximately 19 per cent. to the Closing Price of 84 pence for each Newcastle United Share on 22 May 2007; and


o a premium of approximately 50 per cent. to the average Closing Price of 66.9 pence for each Newcastle United Share in the three month period up to and including 22 May 2007,


22 May 2007 being the last business day prior to the announcement of the acquisition.


Commenting on the Offer:


Mike Ashley said:


“I am delighted to have this opportunity to invest in Newcastle United. The club has a fantastic infrastructure, for which Sir John and the board must take much of the credit. I am pleased that Sir John has agreed to remain as Life President of the club. Newcastle United has a wonderful heritage and the passion of its fans is legendary. I am sure that, like me, they are already excited about the prospects for next season under the new manager's stewardship.”


Sir John Hall said:


“I have been associated with the direction of Newcastle United for nearly 20 years. In that time, I have led the club and, before I retired, led the team responsible for the modernisation of the club we all see today.


It is now time for me to move on and let others take up the challenge of competing in the global market place.


Mike Ashley is a major player in the sporting world and I am convinced that he is the right person to take my place and take the club forward. I am sure he will be good for the club and its loyal fans and indeed for the region. I wish him the very best and hope he enjoys it as much as I have.


Finally, I would like to thank all the fans for their support whilst I was at the helm and would ask them to lend the same level of support to Mike. He has my full backing.”


The Offer Document will be posted to Newcastle United Shareholders in due course.

Edited by Isegrim
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Billionaire businessman Mike Ashley has launched a £133.1m ($263m) offer for Newcastle United.

The news came after the retail entrepreneur said he had bought a 41.6% stake in the Premiership team from Sir John Hall's family for more than £55m.


Mr Ashley said the firm had bought 55.3 million shares in the club at 100 pence a share.


He added that his takeover offer priced the rest of the club's shares at the same level.

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