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PLC to Continue to Own 12.5 Per Cent of Town
Thursday, 22nd Apr 2021 14:56

Ipswich Town PLC shareholders will continue to own 12.5 per cent of the club after Gamechanger 20 Ltd opted not to exercise its tag right to purchase those shares.

The PLC represents the shareholding of the club prior to Marcus Evans’s 2007 takeover with the majority of those owning the shares - who number around 3,500 - supporters who bought them as the club sought to raise cash following the 2003 period in administration.

In a letter to shareholders, PLC chairman Roger Finbow wrote: “You will almost certainly be aware that a few days ago Marcus Evans Group (MEG) announced it had sold its 87.5 per cent holding in ITFC to Gamechanger 20 Limited (Gamechanger), a company controlled by a group of US investors.

“When MEG invested in ITFC in December 2007, it was agreed that in the event of control of ITFC passing in the future to a third party, the purchaser would have the right to require Ipswich Town PLC to transfer to it, for the same price per share as paid to MEG, PLC’s 12.5 per cent shareholding (the “drag”); and PLC would have the reciprocal right to require the purchaser to buy the shareholding on the same terms (“the tag”) . This is a right that would be exercisable by PLC only in respect of its entire holding.

“The price paid to MEG was 35p per share. This contrasts with the £20 per share that most shareholders will have paid in 2003 or 2006.

“Gamechanger has indicated that it does not intend to exercise the drag, and indeed is happy to continue to support PLC on the same terms as MEG has done since 2007.

“The board has taken soundings of the top 20 shareholders. Those accounting for over 56 per cent of the share capital of PLC have indicated a preference for maintaining the current position and not for selling to Gamechanger. The board has therefore concluded that we should not exercise our tag right. 

“In reaching our decision the board has had regard to the clear preference expressed by our biggest shareholders; to what we believe is the emotional attachment that most shareholders will have to ITFC, represented by their respective shareholdings; to the price per share; to the importance of continuing some small level of community ownership; and to the value we believe most shareholders attach to having an annual opportunity at the AGM to meet with the manager and ITFC’s senior executives.”

But while the PLC will maintain its 12.5 per cent stake in the club in the immediate future, Finbow says that may not always be the case.

“You may recall that when MEG invested, we advised that PLC’s shareholding might be further diluted if MEG were to inject additional sums by way of equity,” he continued.

“In fact, this never happened – Marcus Evans funded ITFC by loans - but you should be made aware that Gamechanger has indicated that it is probable that further cash injections will be made by increasing the share capital of ITFC.

“In those circumstances, PLC’s shareholding will be diluted (except in the unlikely event of PLC being in a financial position to subscribe for further shares on the same basis as Gamechanger).”

Finbow says the PLC is still planning to hold a meeting in August which will be attended by the new ownership.

“Subject to any remaining Covid restrictions it is still intended to hold on Monday 2nd August our belated annual meeting, at which I’m pleased to say Paul Cook, new chairman Mike O’Leary and new chief executive Mark Ashton all hope to be present,” he added.

“This is a new era for ITFC.  After the disappointments of the past few years it is a time to get behind the team and show our support for the players, coaching and behind the scenes staff and our new owners as we welcome them to Ipswich Town.”

Photo: Action Images

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FreddySteady added 15:30 - Apr 22
Can someone explain what this means please in words of one syallable? I bought done shares years ago and need to know if I can retire?

PhilTWTD added 15:33 - Apr 22
You definitely can't retire! Gamechanger aren't buying the shares, which are only worth 35p each, the same as was paid for Marcus's shares. PLC will continue as it was.

BotesdaleBlue added 16:37 - Apr 22
I think this is a fair response by all involved and one I am happy with as a minor shareholder. When I invested back in 2003, I knew in my heart that the small"investment" would effectively be more of a donation than anything else.

The emotional attachment is real to most shareholders I believe, and certainly it is for myself. Also the right to attend an annual AGM of the PLC is one that I mostly look forward to for the Q&A part of the meeting, even though the respective seasons' results and league positions are nearly always far from rosy!!

FreddySteady added 16:39 - Apr 22
Thanks Phil. Let’s see...10 shares x 35p is...wait, put the holiday home on hold.

sotd78 added 17:01 - Apr 22
In the (unlikely) event that our Govt actually do run a proper review of Football in this country then we might get closer to a German ownership model - it is thus quite politic for our new owners not to force us 3,500 tiddlers into selling.

Daleyitfc added 17:24 - Apr 22
I'd already spent my £17.50 too ...

therein61 added 18:13 - Apr 22
I think the new owners are being sensible in not enforcing the share uptake like you Botesblue i see my few as a donation and am happy for that remain the case and not being taken away.

istanblue added 19:53 - Apr 22
Another good decision by Gamechanger. However, who are they planning on selling the new shares to?

BromleyBloo added 19:57 - Apr 22
Hi Phil

Don’t know if this has been covered before, but have the new ownership said anything about considering the possibility of offering fans the opportunity to buy shares in the future?


dirtydingusmagee added 20:26 - Apr 22
Daley, you could have donated that toward a full sighted striker .

blues1 added 21:28 - Apr 22
Istanblue. These arent new shares. Theyrectge shares already owned by those fans. They're simply leaving them where they are instead of buying them in order to own 100% of the club.

Radlett_blue added 21:34 - Apr 22
I'd rather have my money back. I suppose a few of the great & the good like sitting on a plc board and attending a meeting with the manager & executives.

bobble added 10:08 - Apr 23
the yanks will make your shares worth nowt over time.....

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