Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Magnusson Buys West Ham Soccer Team for $161 Million (Update2)

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- West Ham, the London soccer club that supplied three members of England's 1966 World Cup-winning team, accepted an 85 million-pound ($161 million) takeover offer by Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson. Magnusson and banker Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson offered 421 pence in cash per share and gained ``irrevocable undertakings'' for about 83 percent of the stock, the Premiership team said in Regulatory News Service statement today. West Ham, which hasn't won a trophy in 26 years, stands to become the sixth Premiership team to fall into foreign hands. Malcolm Glazer last year bought Manchester United for 790 million pounds and fellow U.S. billionaire Randy Lerner in August took over Aston Villa. ``The Premiership has developed into something so massive and, because of the scale of media interest, it's particularly attractive to wealthy businessmen,'' Nigel Currie, director of sponsorship adviser BrandRapport, said in an interview.

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