Wigan Athletic takeover moves step closer

Dave Whelan
Dave Whelan

Wigan Athletic has moved a step closer to foreign ownership with the Whelan family confirming the proposed sale of their shareholding to International Entertainment Corporation (IEC).

Latics chairman David Sharpe says the sale of Wigan Athletic Holdings Limited to IEC - subject to Hong Kong Stock Exchange approval and EFL consent - represents ‘the next stage’ for all parties.

“My family have owned the majority shareholding in Wigan Athletic Football Club since 1995,” said Sharpe, in a statement.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved for the football club, our supporters, the town and the local community.

“After several months of discussions, negotiations and due diligence, we have now agreed, in principle, to transfer the entire shareholdings of Wigan Athletic Holdings Limited, which owns the majority shareholding in the operating companies of Wigan Athletic Football Club and the DW Stadium, to International Entertainment Corporation (IEC), subject to Hong Kong Stock Exchange approval and EFL consent.

“An agreement is also proposed for the sale of the property owned by Sharpe Investments (Wigan) Limited adjacent to the DW Stadium, Christopher Park Training Ground and Euxton Training Ground to IEC.

“It is important to confirm that this process, which has taken longer than expected, has now reached the next stage.

“While we await formal approval and consent by the aforementioned parties, which may take some time, the Whelan family will do whatever it can to support the business operations and IEC during this transition.

“This continued support will ensure that the management team can lead the business during this important transition period which will include the summer player transfer window as the club and the first team manager prepare for the exciting challenge of competing in the EFL Championship next season and beyond.

“Stability and continuity in operations will allow the club to build on the achievements of this season and develop a strategy for future success.

“No further comment will be made until the aforementioned approval and consent has been granted and the process is completed.

“The club would like to thank its supporters for their patience throughout this process.”

Until the process is complete, it’s understood the club will continue to operate as usual under the Whelan family.