Blackburn close on Indian deal

NEW DELHI - Blackburn Rovers hope the sale of the club to Indian conglomerate Venkys will be completed in November with the investors expecting to seal a 46 million pound deal for the Premier League side.

"Both parties are hopeful that the transaction will be completed in November." Rovers chairman John Williams said in a statement on the club's website on Tuesday.

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"A series of meetings, including discussions with the Premier League, have followed an extensive due diligence process."

Venkys' chief Anuradha J Desai added: "We expect to be the first Indian company to acquire a Premier League team and we are particularly delighted that the team is Blackburn Rovers, with whom we believe we have many shared values and ambitions."

Joint managing director B Venkatesh Rao said Venkys were prepared to invest beyond the purchase of the club.

"It's a 46 million (pound) deal. We have to pump in some more money but I don't want to get into the details now," Rao told CNBC-TV18 channel on Tuesday.

"We are not here to compete with anybody. It's one of the very prestigious, very old clubs and it's well-run... we are very positive. Let us start a new chapter."


The V.H Group, of which Venkateshwara Hatcheries P Ltd is the flagship company, specialises in poultry farming and claims to be the "largest fully integrated poultry group in Asia".

Its diversified businesses interests include food processing, animal healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

The website of the Pune-headquartered company said its valuation was $300 million.

Blackburn, managed by Sam Allardyce, are fourth from bottom in the league - one place above the relegation zone - with nine points from as many games.

Last week Allardyce had backed new investment for the 1995 Premier League champions, who were put up for sale by the Jack Walker Trust three years ago.

"The club has been up for sale for some time and new investment would be most welcome," Allardyce said on Friday.

"It would seem that things are progressing and maybe we are getting closer to a decision."

In September, investment company Western Gulf Advisory (WGA) said that they were conducting due diligence on Rovers.

A WGA spokesperson told Reuters in an email on Tuesday they were still interested in purchasing the club but "did not wish to comment on the current developments".