Bizarre Takeover Process at Charlton

Things at Charlton are never straightforward are they ?  I’ve spent the last 20 years buying and selling businesses of all shapes and sizes and its very difficult to understand exactly what’s going on in the Charlton sale process.

It is reasonably commonplace for ‘ auction’ processes to occur where more than one interested bidder undertakes due diligence, generally at their own expense. Different parties do this “dd” in different ways , some people pay specialists to undertake the diligence which would involve financial, commercial and legal analysis. A couple of deals I have done over the last few years have even involved commissioning specialist political due diligence. Some parties might try to do this work in house rather than appointing advisors.

Some of this work might be done before a price is agreed with the vendor , but the heavy lifting which incurs the cost of lawyers and accountants is generally done after a price is agreed and is completed with the one preferred party during a period of exclusivity which is generally one to three months to enable the buyer to get comfortable and complete the transaction, including the legal process.

Heaven only knows how this Charlton process works. It seems that they have agreed the price with 2 interested parties who have both completed due diligence and are both now at the legal completion stage. I can understand why that would be attractive to Roland to keep both bidders ‘ honest’ and provide him with a fall back, but I’ve never experienced a situation where 2 bidders are prepared to continue to a legal completion incurring further cost knowing that you might not get the deal.

Unless I am missing something obvious, Uncle Roland can only sell the club once so one of the bidders is going to be very much out of pocket.

Anyway, every deal is different so who knows what is really going on. Our owner is not exactly conventional in his business or indeed in any sense. None of us will care how the deal gets done – so long as it gets done – and the eventual buyer reignites the passion amongst our supporters and has real ambition for the club which has been so lacking over the last 4 years.

We can only hope that the end is truly in sight and that a glorious dawn will indeed follow the night.

3 thoughts on “Bizarre Takeover Process at Charlton

  1. Good morning Albury trust you are surviving the “Beast from the East “…whatever that is. Given my own experience of such matters I wholly agree with your sentiments. I would find it extremely difficult to advise a client to incur a considerable expense without some exclusivity and reasonable prospect of a deal being completed.
    I would however offer a possible explanation .
    Perhaps one Buyer is purchasing “Charlton” and the other Buyer ” Athletic ” ?? This would then leave Roland with the initials “FC” as a momento and very apt expression of all Charlton supporters thoughts of his ownership of the club.

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