A year-end report from Gulf Financial House, the parent company of GFH Capital, listed Leeds United as a ‘held-for-sale’ asset, an accounting classification used when a company expects to sell the majority share of an asset within 12 months.
When the report was made public on the website of Gulf Financial House, the media quickly reported that Leeds United was once again for sale, leading to speculation amongst fans as to who the next owners may be.
This drew what appeared to be a conflicting statement from GFH Capital via Leeds United’s official website. While the firm didn’t deny they were seeking investment in the club – a position they’ve maintained since day one – they insisted their position hadn’t changed, referring to an earlier interview with David Conn in which Salem Patel said they’d prefer to sell a 30% stake and maintain majority ownership.
All this has left fans unsure as to whether we’re actually for sale or not, and it appears we are not alone.
The confusion has now prompted the Bahrain Stock Exchange to seek clarification on the matter, explaining to Bloomberg that;
“[Gulf Financial House's compliance officer] says the company has already disclosed its position in the financial report for the year so we requested to clarify the article on the website and we haven’t had a response.”
The Bahrain Stock Exchange official accused Gulf Financial House of “not following regulations defined by the central bank of Bahrain” adding that “they have to confirm, deny or correct whatever statement is declared to the public or to newspapers.”
What’s clear is that Gulf Financial House are sticking to the year-end statement they published, but GFH Capital seem to be suggesting a smaller sale of shares than their parent company.
An apparent breakdown in communication seems to tie in with speculation linking local businessman Steve Parkin with a takeover attempt. Reports claim the millionaire Leeds United fan is dealing directly with Gulf Financial House in an attempt to takeover the club, effectively cutting GFH Capital out of equation.
With a bit of luck, Gulf Financial House will attempt to clarify matters at their annual shareholders meeting tomorrow.