Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Rovers takeover nears completion

Blackburn Rovers

The takeover of Blackburn by Indian poultry giant Venky's is expected to be completed next month, the club confirmed on Tuesday.

The deal with the Venkateshwara Hatcheries Group should see Blackburn become the first Barclays Premier League club to be bought by an Indian company.

Venky's chairperson Anuradha J Desai said in a statement: "We expect to be the first Indian company to acquire a Premier League team and we are particularly delighted that the team is Blackburn Rovers, with whom we believe we have many shared values and ambitions."

Blackburn chairman John Williams added: "A series of meetings, including discussions with the Premier League, have followed an extensive due diligence process. Both parties are hopeful that the transaction will be completed in November."

Venky's have been one of a number of companies who have gone through the process of due diligence and inspected the club's accounts.

The Jack Walker Trust put Blackburn up for sale two years ago in the hope of attracting buyers willing to invest in the club, but Venky's is the first company to have satisfied club chiefs about their future intentions.

It is believed that international sports agency Kentaro, which specialises in selling international TV rights to football, could also be involved in the new ownership structure.

Venky's were the third Indian company to have considered a takeover following businessmen Saurin Shah and Ahsan Ali Syed, whose moves for the club failed to materialise into anything concrete, and Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has warned that investment is vitally needed.

Allardyce said last week: "I think it's necessary there is a conclusion because it does leave the club in limbo. Investment is needed in every football club and recently that investment has dried up because the club is up for the sale and the Trust wanted to move it on.

"If it goes on any longer and you don't get any investment it becomes a very dangerous and precarious situation. It needs investment to stay in this league, never mind achieving success."