Ukio deal to move Hearts closer to fan ownership

Picture: Ian Rutherford
Picture: Ian Rutherford
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HEARTS should take a significant step closer to exiting administration this week, the administrator of their largest creditor said yesterday.

Ukio Bankas creditors are due to meet in Lithuania on Friday, and according to Gintaras Adomonis are certain to approve the transfer of the company’s 29.5 per cent shareholding in the Tynecastle club to Bidco, the Foundation of Hearts’ purchase vehicle. “It is considered that the creditors of Ukio Bankas will approve the deal of Hearts sale to Bidco,” Adomonis said. “There are no reasons to believe in any other decision, as no alternatives have been proposed to be included in the agenda.”

If the Ukio sale is approved, only one step will remain before Hearts can complete their Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) and come out of administration – the transfer of the 50 per cent shareholding owned by their former parent company Ubig, who have yet to confirm a date for their creditors’ meeting.

Adomonis, who works for Ukio administrators Valnetas, has no official connection with Ubig, but expects that transfer to go through when the relevant meeting is held. It was previously reported to be scheduled for Friday, but that is not the case.

“As far as we know, Ubig’s creditors’ meeting is planned at the end of the next week, but it is still to be confirmed,” he said. “We believe that the creditors of Ubig will also approve the deal. If the approval by the creditors of Ukio and Ubig is on hand, the process will move forward as soon as possible.”

Hearts administrators BDO received an initial approval of their CVA proposal at the end of November, conditional on the agreement of the two groups of shareholders in Lithuania. Bryan Jackson of BDO was in Lithuania last week for negotiations.