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Hearts: Time runs out for Massone’s due diligence

Angelo Massone's Five Stars Football Ltd is one of the two remaining bidders for Hearts. Picture: SNS

Angelo Massone's Five Stars Football Ltd is one of the two remaining bidders for Hearts. Picture: SNS

  • by STUART BATHGATE
 

A PERIOD requested by Angelo Massone for him to conduct due diligence into Hearts’ finances will expire today – with the Italian having apparently done no work on the subject.

Massone, whose Five Stars Football Ltd is one of the two remaining bidders for the Tynecastle club, is understood to have asked Hearts administrators BDO for more time in which to carry out due diligence. They granted him that time, and are now waiting to hear if he will seek an extension.

Five Stars Football has also still to provide satisfactory proof of funding to BDO to back up its offer for the club, which went into administration in June. Foundation of Hearts, the only other bidder still in the fight for control, conducted due diligence before making its offer and supplied proof of funding weeks ago. The Foundation also submitted an improved offer within a deadline last month, whereas Five Stars did so hours late.

BDO’s policy of confidentiality means they say nothing publicly about named bidders for the club. Sources involved in the negotiations have concluded that they are baffled by Massone’s actions, but unless and until he is ruled out of the running they will not question his credibility.

Since the elimination of Scottish businessman Bob Jamieson’s HMFC Limited left only two bidders in the contest, Lithuanian administrators UAB Valnetas may believe it is in their interest to keep Massone involved for as long as possible. Valnetas, the administrators of Hearts’ major creditors Ukio Bankas, have already threatened to liquidate the club if more money for a Company Voluntary Arrangement is not offered by either the Foundation or Five Stars.

In Lithuania, meanwhile, an appeal has been lodged against the proposed liquidation of Ubig, Hearts’ parent company. It has been suggested that Vladimir Romanov, who had a controlling interest in Ubig, could return to the Baltic republic to appeal in person.

 

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