Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fernandes rejects West Ham overtures

21 January 2010

AIRASIA boss Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes has no plans to take any stake on offer by new West Ham United club owners, David Sullivan and David Gold.

“They have been in touch, but I am focusing my attention on AirAsia and The Tune companies. I don’t see myself taking the stake in West Ham,” Fernandes told NST yesterday. On Tuesday, Sullivan and Gold won the bid for a 50 percent stake in the club for a reported sum of £105 million (RM574 million) , with an option to acquire the remaining shares. CB Holdings, a subsidiary of Icelandic bank Straumur still holds the remaining 50 percent.

After winning the bid, co owner Sullivan, told the UK's Telegraph that he was keen to speak to Fernandes about a possible investment in the future. Sullivan had reportedly said that he would approach Fernandes in the hope that he will join Sullivan and David Gold in a kind of national unity purchase of West Ham. Fernandes said, the purchase of the club was to have been a personal investment, which he had planned with long time business partner Datuk Kamarudin Meranun. “I am now concentrating on AirAsia, AirAsia X and the Tune Companies, which includes Formula 1.

We expect a positive year ahead of us and that’s where my attention is,” Fernandes said. It is understood that Fernandes’ planned purchase, was to gain control over the club, giving him a final say in the running of the club.

This makes any option to have a stake without control over the club, undesirable for the business tycoon. In a Tweet yesterday Fernandes said, “What a year. West Ham, Lotus (F1), Asean basketball. Many offers but we will take breather on football. AirAsia is really rocking. It’s a gold mine.”

New Straits Times

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