Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Norwegian consortium eyeing up Stoke City investment

The Icelandic owners of Stoke City, Stoke Holding SA, are locked in negotiations with two consortiums eyeing up the Staffordshire club.

One consortium is made up by former Stoke City owner Peter Coates who has had two unsuccesful takeover bids rejected in the past month, the other consortium is made up by Scandinavian Business tycoons.

It has emerged that a consortium of Norwegian businessmen are believed to be in the first stage of negotiations with Stoke Holding SA about taking over the English Championship club.

Norwegian business tycoons Öystein Stray Spetalen, a financial investor worth an estimated £150m, and 43-year-old hotel magnate Petter Stordalen last month scrapped plans to buy a controlling stake in English Premieship club Liverpool but have turned their attentions to the Icelandic owned club Stoke City, which they believe could be a favourable investment.

Icelandic owners Stoke Holding SA have debts of more than £5m owed to them by the club and if the first stage of negotiations with the Norwegian consortium proves successful the Norwegians could prepare a financial package suitable to all parties in the next couple of weeks.

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