Bahrain bank set for Leeds deal

Bahrain bank set for Leeds deal

LEEDS - Agence France-Presse
Bahrain bank set for Leeds deal

The takeover of Leeds United by Bahrain’s GFH Capital has been in the pipeline for nearly six months.

Leeds United of the English Championship is set to become the latest club to come under Gulf financial control after a Bahrain-based investment bank agreed a takeover deal, both parties have announced.

The takeover by GFH Capital, a subsidiary of Gulf Finance House, understood to be worth around $75 million, has been in the pipeline for nearly six months but the bank has finally given Leeds owner Ken Bates the assurances it has the funds to complete the transaction.

Bates, who took control of “sleeping giants” Leeds in 2005, said: “It’s been a long road, but we are in a good place. Both sides have been in talks over the last few days to finalize this deal. We are keeping focused and hope to complete very soon.”

GFH Capital announced last month that it had signed an exclusive agreement to lead a takeover of Leeds after it had notified the Bahrain and Kuwaiti stock exchanges.

Deputy chief executive officer David Haigh said: “With the money in place, we are poised to make this deal happen pending agreements and arrangements which are in the interests of the future of Leeds United - we need to make sure all the finer detail is addressed before trading signatures.”

There had been speculation that GFH’s Islamic background could have been a stumbling block to any deal, but director and chief investment officer Salem Patel insisted that the operation of the club would not be hindered by shariah law.