Change of ownership on cards for Wigan Athletic
Wigan Athletic's owners, International Entertainment Corporation, have announced their intention to move the football club on to a fund owned by chairman Stanley Choi.
The development, which comes just over a year since IEC took control from the Whelan family, is not expected to result in significant changes to the day-to-day running of the club.
But taking it away from IEC would eliminate the need for such announcements having to go through the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The statement - headlined 'Inside Information Memorandum of Understanding in Respect of the Possible Disposal' - was made on Monday morning (November 18).
And it confirms that the deal will go through as soon as it's ratified and given the green light, with a one-month due diligence period now underway.
It continued: "It is the intention that Dr. Choi Chiu Fai Stanley, the chairman of the Board, an executive Director and a controlling shareholder of the Company, will subscribe for 51 per cent interests of the Fund upon its establishment and act as the limited partner of the Fund, with the remaining 49 per cent interests of the Fund is expected to be subscribed by individual(s) or corporate(s) who is/are third party(ies) independent of the Company and its connected persons (as defined in the Listing Rules) and act as the limited partner(s) of the Fund.
"Accordingly, the Fund shall be an associate of a connected person of the Company, and thus a connected person of the Company under Chapter 14A of the Listing Rules.
"The Target Company is principally engaged in the operation of Wigan Athletic Football Club which is a professional association football club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England and a sports stadium, namely the DW Stadium, with conference and other facilities.
"Pursuant to the terms of the MOU, NLL shall be permitted to conduct a legal, financial and technical due diligence audit of the Target Company for a period of one (1) month from the date of the MOU (the ‘‘Due Diligence Period’’).
"The Company shall provide, in a timely manner, all the documents, materials and information which may be requested by NLL, its representatives and/or any of its advisors.
"The Due Diligence Period may be extended for an additional period of one (1) month upon the written request of NLL.
"As at the date of this announcement, the Board comprises two executive Directors, namely Dr. Choi Chiu Fai Stanley and Mr. Chan Chun Yiu Thomas, and three independent non-executive Directors, namely Ms. Lu Gloria Yi, Mr. Sun Jiong and Mr. Ha Kee Choy Eugene."