Villa’s price surges on news of takeover talks
Shares in Aston Villa surged yesterday after it confirmed takeover talks that could value the Midlands club at £64m.
The Aston Villa board said yesterday that it had received a preliminary approach from Birmingham businessman Michael Neville, who is thought to be the front man for brothers Luke and Brian Comer, who run Irish property firm Comer Homes Group.
Veteran chairman and chief executive Doug Ellis and property investor Jack Petchy, who together have a combined stake of 58 per cent, control Aston Villa.
Ellis has said “they will have to carry me out of this club feet first in a wooden box” but has been suffering ill health. The 81-year-old is thought to have been tempted by an advisory role, with diehard Villa fan Neville tipped as executive chairman.
The famously cautious Villa board said yesterday that it had “not met with any other members of the consortium nor received any confirmation of the availability of sufficient funding to support any potential offer”.
A spokesman could not confirm the timing of any sit down talks. Earlier this year the club knocked back a £45m takeover bid from former Newcastle and Birmingham City defender Ray Ranson.
Ellis, famous for his miserly and autocratic approach, has faced dissent from the terraces in recent seasons due to club’s poor performance. It is currently sitting 16th in the 20-strong Premier League. However Ellis’s frugal financial management means that the club has little debt and is ripe for investment.