Goals takes shot at overseas expansion
GOALS Soccer Centres will expand its chain of five-a-side football pitches into Europe and North America if a deal to buy the East Kilbride-based firm is completed.
Goals’ directors are backing a £73.1 million takeover offer from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), which owns National Lottery-operator Camelot and half of the High Speed One rail link.
Jo Taylor, vice president of the OTPP’s private equity arm, said the pension fund would pump £40m into the business, adding a further 25 outlets to its existing chain of 43 sites in Britain and one in Los Angeles.
Taylor told Scotland on Sunday that further cash was available if the expansion plan was a success. “There are opportunities in the Benelux countries, France and Germany,” he said.
“In North America, five-a-side soccer is played by a much broader spread of people, including women. In the UK, it tends to just be young men.
“So there are lots of opportunities in North America if Goals can find the right sites.”
Shares in Goals closed above the 144p a share offer price at 148.5p in anticipation of a bid from Patron Capital, owner of rival operator Powerleague which advised shareholders to take no action.
Mervyn Metcalf, managing director at Dean Street Advisers, which advised OTPP on the deal, said the pension fund was in no rush for a quick return and would be a medium-term investor.
OTPP has secured 27 per cent acceptances, through the holdings of management and other investors.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West