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David Sullivan gains control of West Ham

Filed: Tuesday, 2nd July 2013
By: Staff Writer

Co-chairman David Sullivan has become West Ham United's largest single shareholder, having acquired a further 25 per cent stake in the club from CB Holdings.

Legal Week have revealed that Sullivan recently increased his personal stake to 56 per cent, leaving him as West Ham United's largest single stakeholder and giving him overall control of the Club.

"DLA Piper is among a number of law firms to have advised on a deal," read a report in Legal Week. "Sullivan, a longstanding client of DLA, has now acquired a further 25 per cent of shares in West Ham as part of a 25.5m restructuring of the club's senior debt."

The news was confirmed by DLA Pipers's corporate partner Mel Sims, who added: "We are delighted to have advised David on his latest investment in the football club. It is an exciting time for West Ham, having had a solid first year back in the Premier League and with the move to the Olympic Stadium on the horizon."

Sullivan - who in conjunction with David Gold purchased a majority 51 per cent share of West Ham when wrestling control from Icelandic bankers Straumur in January 2010 - first increased his stake when the pair invested in an additional ten per cent, costing 8million, just four months later. That move increased their shareholding to 31 per cent each.

A plea for further, outside investment followed in February 2011 when Sullivan and Gold - who have a three-year option to buy out the Icelandic bank's remaining shares - advertised for potential partners to purchase the remaining 35 per cent stake owned by Straumur/CBH.

"The club's value has been enormously increased and there is a unique opportunity to buy the remaining 35% of the club for around 35-40 million," said Suliivan at the time. "Once all the shares are placed it is anticipated that they'll increase enormously in value over the coming few years as the club moves to the Olympic Stadium.

"There is a chance the value of the club could go from 100million to 700million over five years when we move. There are only four big clubs in London: Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal and West Ham, and West Ham is by far the cheapest. Yet it has great heritage and a huge fan base and, with the Olympic Stadium, it can become a top-five club in the future."

However with no additional parties coming on board, Sullivan and Gold continued to run the club with an even stake - until Sullivan's latest purchase, which gives the 64-year-old a clear majority share.

So who owns West Ham in 2013?
(All figures approximate evaluations based on figures in public domain)

1. David Sullivan: 55.6%
2. David Gold: 30.6%
3. CB Holdings (formerly Straumur): 10%
4. John Harris, Daniel Harris and Terence Brown: 3.8%

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