POMPEY bosses have this afternoon confirmed they are entering an ‘exclusivity agreement’ with American billionaire Michael Eisner over a potential takeover of the club.
The 70-day arrangement will allow the Blues to enter into a period of detailed negotiations with the ex-Walt Disney chief executive.
It does not, however, mean that any takeover bid is certain to happen.
In the club’s statement, a spokesman confirmed that the agreement will mean Pompey won’t enter into any other discussions with other potential bidders.
The club statement said: ‘Portsmouth Community Football Club would like to advise all shareholders and supporters that it has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Michael D. Eisner and his Tornante Group to allow for a period of discussions and negotiations to take place regarding a possible purchase of the club.
‘The agreement is simply to ensure that during this period, which will be 70 days, the club will not engage in discussions with any other potential bidder and is standard practice in these situations.
‘As all our supporters are aware, on the pitch we now enter the final, crucial phase of the season.
‘We can assure all fans that in the background we will now discreetly and privately engage in this next stage of discussions, while our focus will remain on supporting the football staff and players until the end of the season.’
As part of the statement, the club gave a breakdown of exactly what the process means and how it will work, which The News is running in full, below:
Q: Is this a done deal then?
A: No, it is not. Put simply, this now enables the club to exclusively enter into a period of negotiation and due diligence with Mr Eisner and his Tornante Group to establish the detailed terms he proposes.
Q: Due diligence – what does that entail?
A: Mr Eisner and Tornante will be reviewing our business and financial information, and equally we will be checking out their own respective financial and business credentials.
Q: What form will the negotiations take?
A: The Board and Mr Eisner will look to negotiate the terms of what would effectively be the best and final offer they wish to make for the club; at which point we will advise all shareholders – both presidents and those with the Pompey Supporters’ Trust (PST) – on the terms of the offer. Shareholders will then be asked by the club and the PST to vote to either accept or reject the offer.
Q: Who will be leading the negotiations?
A: The board have retained Trevor Birch to advise them during the negotiating process and he will liaise with all of the stakeholders in the club. Trevor is a managing director of global corporate advisory firm Duff and Phelps, and has unique experience of dealing not only with potential investors at a variety of clubs, but also possesses an insight specifically into PCFC, its community ethos and intricacies of the current fan ownership model.
Q: Will there be an opportunity for Mr Eisner to explain in person his vision and plans for the club’s future to shareholders?
A: Yes, the intention would be for Mr Eisner to explain his future strategy and plans for the club to all shareholders.