GFH Capital last night revealed that it had received a bid for a majority stake in Leeds United amid growing speculation that the club is up for sale again.
The Dubai-based firm, which bought Leeds less than eight weeks ago, confirmed that several offers of investment have been tabled since its takeover in response to claims that a Yorkshire-based consortium are looking to acquire a controlling interest in United.
As reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post on Saturday, GFH Capital is offering shares in the Elland Road club in return for a substantial cash injection and a group of local businessman are understood to be vying for a 51 per cent stake.
The YEP can also reveal that a third party from the Middle East is also interested in purchasing a large shareholding in United, despite GFH Capital concluding its protracted buy-out of chairman and former owner Ken Bates just four days before Christmas.
In a statement published on United’s official website, GFH Capital said: “As can be expected with a club as fantastic as Leeds United, since our acquisition we have received several offers to invest in the club alongside us.
“The most recent offer was for a majority stake and has not been accepted. Although we continue to seek strategic investors, we will only bring on board those who we feel can make a positive contribution to the sustained success of Leeds United.”
Representatives of GFH Capital admitted on the day of its takeover that the company was searching for “strategic investors” to help finance its strategy at Elland Road, and the firm’s immediate push for funding sparked rumours that it was already open to offers to buy Leeds.
GFH Capital’s financial strength came under intense scrutiny during the seven months it took to complete its takeover but the private equity organisation reaffirmed its commitment to United last night, saying: “It is important to reiterate how thrilled we are to be here working with a great team of people at the club and a superb set of supporters.”
Former United director and ex-Hull City chairman Adam Pearson emerged as a possible bidder last week after admitting he was keen to “get back into football”.
“I would like to go in with a consortium with a club that has huge potential,” Pearson said.
“The one that stands out is Leeds.”