Hedge Fund's Goal: Buy English Soccer Team

Oct 25 2007 | 12:57pm ET

Another hedge fund is looking for a piece of the beautiful game.

Sisu Capital is seeking a 55% stake in the Southampton Football Club, and the team’s board has reported agreed in principle to move forward on the £40 million (US$82 million) deal. But big hurdles remain for the London-based special situations hedge fund, which has tried and failed on two other occasions to buy an English soccer club.

The club’s plan to win approval by the end of the year is in jeopardy, as it’s three largest shareholder, who collectively own more than half of Southampton, have yet to agree to the plan. Sisu needs 75% shareholder approval for its proposed investment to be approved.

Sisu will keep the team’s current management in place, The Telegraph reports. It also is reportedly offering bonuses totaling £300,000 (US$614,600) to some members of the Southampton board, a sweetener certain to raise some eyebrows.

Southampton has been dogged by boardroom infighting since the club was relegated from the top level of English soccer, the Premier League, three seasons ago.

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