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Albion going private as club makes a loss
By Andy Toft
Nov 16, 2004, 12:12
West Bromwich Albion is set to become a private company again after club
supremos decided to remove it from the stock exchange.
Current shareholders will have the chance to keep their shares or sell
them to the newly formed West Bromwich Albion Holdings Limited - set up
by the club. A single share is currently worth £72.50 - a figure which
values the club at £10.14 million. Chairman Jeremy Peace and his fellow
directors took the decision to remove Albion from its listing on the
Alternative Investment Market (AIM) after seeing very little trading in
the club's shares over the last 12 months.
The move will also see the Baggies make a major saving on the
administration costs they pay to be on the AIM.
Albion's finance director, Mark Jenkins, said: "It's a significant
administrative cost which is increasing year by year."
Law firm Cobbetts, which advised on the move, said the decision to
withdraw Albion from the AIM had been taken to allow the directors to
concentrate on helping the club progress, while not having to go through
the process of informing the stock exchange about their actions.
Albion's decision follows a growing trend among Premiership clubs to
take themselves out of public ownership. Chelsea and Bolton have also
taken similar steps.
Linda Crow of law firm Pinsents, which has also worked with Albion on
the switch, said it was the right thing to do in the current market.
"This is a sensible option as over the last few years market sentiment
towards the football sector in general has changed for the worse and
there is now a limited advantage for West Bromwich Albion in raising
further capital through its AIM listing," she said.
News of the move coincides with the publication of Albion's annual
report, which revealed the club had made a loss over the last 12 months
Turnover in 2004 was £20.6 million compared to £28.4 million in 2003
when the club was in the Premiership for the first time.
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