Business

Wednesday 24 January 2018

GFH shares surge as it sells stake in Leeds United

Leeds United's Jason Pearce (left) shakes hands with Leicester City's David Nugent at the final whistle during the Skybet Championship match at Elland Road. Leeds United is due to be sold.
Leeds United's Jason Pearce (left) shakes hands with Leicester City's David Nugent at the final whistle during the Skybet Championship match at Elland Road. Leeds United is due to be sold.

Sarmad Khan

SHARES in Gulf Finance House EC (GFH) climbed to their highest in more than 22 months after the investment company said it had signed an agreement with a group of British investors to sell 75pc of its stake in Leeds United.

The shares gained 9.6pc in Dubai, the highest close since March 2012. GFH will retain a 10pc holding in the club after completion of the deal, it said in a statement, without disclosing its value - citing a confidentiality agreement.

The Bahrain-based firm is selling Leeds about 14 months after buying the soccer club as it prepares to begin making payments on $110m (€81m) of debt it restructured in May 2012.

The transaction, which requires approval from the English Football Association, will have a positive impact on the company's financial position, GFH said in the statement.

"The disposal of an asset like Leeds United will bring cash for the company to meet its refinancing obligations," said Montasser Khelifi, a Dubai-based senior manager for global markets at Quantum Investment Bank.

"That explains the positive market reaction to the deal announcement."

GFH is starting to make payments on its restructured debt this year, with reimbursement of a sukuk in July and a so-called murabaha facility in August, Mr Khelifi said.

Irish Independent

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