Bolton Wanderers shareholders vote to go private

Bolton Wanderers shareholders have voted to go private

Bolton Wanderers owner Eddie Davies

First published in News
Last updated

IN the Chairman’s Suite at the Reebok Stadium today, more than 100 shareholders packed into the final AGM of Burnden Leisure PLC.

It was sometimes heated and sometimes jovial, as shareholders discussed everything from the current financial plight of the club to the price of chicken sandwiches at Whites’ new hotel venture.

There was standing room only, with attendees remarking that they had never seen an AGM this full.

And there was really only one reason why so many had turned up on a wet, wintry Friday morning in January, and that was to hear why the club’s board — and owner Eddie Davies — wanted to re-register Burnden Leisure PLC as a private limited company.

In the end, the reasons given by chairman Phil Gartside and financial director Anthony Massey were nothing out of the ordinary.

Mr Massey, who was also elected to the board at the meeting, told shareholders that the club had effectively been a private company since Mr Davies acquired a 94.5 per cent stake in the club about a decade ago.

He said it had always been the intention, since the takeover, to take the company private, but the club has had to wait 10 years to do so, without facing significant costs.

Mr Massey, whose background is in retail, mobile communications and computing, said the move would save the club some money in terms of its accounting obligations.

Shareholders were told they would still retain their stakes in the club. They were also told there would be an annual forum in place of the AGM — despite there being no obligation for a private company to hold such a meeting.

The motion to approve the re-registration of the company as a private limited company was duly passed, despite a handful of shareholders objecting.

The proposal to change the name of Wanderers’ holding company to Burnden Leisure Limited was also approved.

Before the vote, the business of the day was interrupted for about 40 minutes as Whites manager Dougie Freedman took part in a well-received question and answer session with shareholders.

Following the Q&A, property development expert Richard Gee was elected to the board, while vice chairman Brett Warburton was also re-elected.

Wanderers’ accounts will still be published on an annual basis, but the club will not have to file figures until March each year, rather than December.

At the end of last month, Burnden Leisure revealed that its debts had risen to £163.8 million. About £150 million of that is owed to one of Mr Davies’ firms, Moonshift Investments Limited.

Comments (8)

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5:13pm Fri 24 Jan 14

steveG says...

Bolton Wanderers has become a poorly run club and today's events will only serve to ensure their supporters are further alienated.
Bolton Wanderers has become a poorly run club and today's events will only serve to ensure their supporters are further alienated. steveG
  • Score: 11

5:21pm Fri 24 Jan 14

waterbottle says...

Bankruptcy on the horizon
Bankruptcy on the horizon waterbottle
  • Score: 9

6:30pm Fri 24 Jan 14

thomas222 says...

Would anyone have any details of where Mr Massey worked and made his fortune being succesfull ?
Would anyone have any details of where Mr Massey worked and made his fortune being succesfull ? thomas222
  • Score: 9

6:36pm Fri 24 Jan 14

wsw69 says...

A club in dire crisis with a complete smug idiot as the chairman. There is MUCH MORE relating to the change than meets the eye.
A club in dire crisis with a complete smug idiot as the chairman. There is MUCH MORE relating to the change than meets the eye. wsw69
  • Score: 21

8:09pm Fri 24 Jan 14

wsw69 says...

waterbottle wrote:
Bankruptcy on the horizon
Had one of us mere morals in a similar financial state then we would have been bankrupt a moons age ago.

Basically BWFC have not got a pot to p 1 5 s in It would be better named Billy Smarts Circus
[quote][p][bold]waterbottle[/bold] wrote: Bankruptcy on the horizon[/p][/quote]Had one of us mere morals in a similar financial state then we would have been bankrupt a moons age ago. Basically BWFC have not got a pot to p 1 5 s in It would be better named Billy Smarts Circus wsw69
  • Score: 8

12:24am Sat 25 Jan 14

bigjsh says...

The club is a laughing stock was the parachute payments from the premier league ever discussed or found ???
Sooner gartside gone the better
The club is a laughing stock was the parachute payments from the premier league ever discussed or found ??? Sooner gartside gone the better bigjsh
  • Score: 4

12:54am Sat 25 Jan 14

keithyno.1 says...

wsw69 wrote:
waterbottle wrote:
Bankruptcy on the horizon
Had one of us mere morals in a similar financial state then we would have been bankrupt a moons age ago.

Basically BWFC have not got a pot to p 1 5 s in It would be better named Billy Smarts Circus
Dark, troubled times at BWFC, but at least the last sentence above has brought a smile to my face! : )
[quote][p][bold]wsw69[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]waterbottle[/bold] wrote: Bankruptcy on the horizon[/p][/quote]Had one of us mere morals in a similar financial state then we would have been bankrupt a moons age ago. Basically BWFC have not got a pot to p 1 5 s in It would be better named Billy Smarts Circus[/p][/quote]Dark, troubled times at BWFC, but at least the last sentence above has brought a smile to my face! : ) keithyno.1
  • Score: 2

9:27pm Sat 25 Jan 14

BWFC71 says...

NOt eally dark times - if a check a Companies House is to go by then 3 new companies have been created and funnily enough the penultimate full financial statement (as a full one still has to be lodged this year as the end of the financial year for Burnden Leisure is June/July - which is when the changeover will probably take place) also states 3 subsidiary companies which under current laws means they are part of the same group but are also independent of each other when it comes to finance and linked by various guarantees therefore a lot of the so-called debt could be moved to these other companies and to affect Bolton Wanderers Limited or its position with the new FFP rules coming in.

If anything this could be a case of strengthening the club and group as a whole and it could also mark the changeover with Moonshift Investments becoming the new owner rather than Eddie Davies himself (although he owns Moonshift) - which to be fair, would be better than what the current set up is.
NOt eally dark times - if a check a Companies House is to go by then 3 new companies have been created and funnily enough the penultimate full financial statement (as a full one still has to be lodged this year as the end of the financial year for Burnden Leisure is June/July - which is when the changeover will probably take place) also states 3 subsidiary companies which under current laws means they are part of the same group but are also independent of each other when it comes to finance and linked by various guarantees therefore a lot of the so-called debt could be moved to these other companies and to affect Bolton Wanderers Limited or its position with the new FFP rules coming in. If anything this could be a case of strengthening the club and group as a whole and it could also mark the changeover with Moonshift Investments becoming the new owner rather than Eddie Davies himself (although he owns Moonshift) - which to be fair, would be better than what the current set up is. BWFC71
  • Score: 0

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