Shares in Goals Soccer Centres slumped more than 20 per cent yesterday after the proposed £73.1 million takeover of the five-a-side football pitch operator collapsed.
The deal needed the backing of independent shareholders owning at least 75 per cent of the company, but yesterday’s general meeting saw only 71.4 per cent approval.
Goals’ shares fell 29p, or 20.1 per cent, to 115.5p after the news.
The firm declined to say who voted against the deal. Institutional investors including Aviva and Henderson had pledged to vote in favour.
Goals’ largest shareholder is managing director Keith Rogers, who led a management buy-out in 2000 and has an 8.4 per cent stake in the firm. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) had offered 144p per share for the East Kilbride-based firm, which represented a premium of 34 per cent over the price of 107.5p before the takeover talks first emerged.
Insiders said the board was disappointed with yesterday’s vote but took heart from the fact that some shareholders believe the company is worth more than what was on the table.
The firm is now keen to focus on “business as usual” and chairman Sir Rodney Walker said it will “continue to focus on delivering the group’s strategy of delivering a best-in-class five-a-side football experience to customers in the UK and beyond”.
The private equity arm of OTPP confirmed in April that it had held preliminary discussions with the firm’s board.
Goals said yesterday it was not in talks with any other parties about a possible offer.
Private equity firm Patron Capital – which owns smaller Paisley-based peer Powerleague – last month said that it was pondering a bid, but it walked away on 8 August.
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