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Page last updated at 21:42 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Death of Intermarket CEO hits West Ham takeover bid

By John Sinnott

West Ham supporters
West Ham are currently 17th in the Premier League

Finance company Intermarket's proposed takeover of West Ham has been hit by the death of their chief executive officer Jim Bowe at the weekend.

The 59-year-old Bowe launched his company's bid for West Ham in October.

Intermarket owner David Byrne admitted the tragedy could have an impact on efforts to meet Rothschilds Bank's Wednesday "close of business" deadline.

"I believe we're offering the best package as well as guaranteed funds for this transfer window," said Byrne.

"We are the only party prepared to sign a 10-year commitment to stay at the club.

Jim Bowe's death is a terrible blow, but he would have wanted us to carry on and give it our all

Intermarket owner David Byrne

"We will do all we can to take West Ham into a prosperous future off the pitch and a successful one on it."

Former Birmingham City owners David Sullivan and David Gold are also interested in the Premier League strugglers, who are said to be worth about £100m.

Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, boss of the revived Lotus F1 team, has also been linked with a takeover of the club.

The club are currently owned by CB holding who say West Ham are £38m in debt.

The main shareholder in CB Holding is Icelandic bank Straumur, which has previously said that it is in no hurry to sell the club.

Bowe had only just taken on the role of CEO at the invitation of Byrne when the company launched a bid to buy the Hammers.

The New Yorker was previously the president of the New York Board of Trade.

"Jim had been my friend for two decades," said Byrne.

"We worked on deals together and it had always been my ambition to work with him in the same company.

"We had many plans for the future. West Ham was the first of them. His death is a terrible blow, but he would have wanted us to carry on and give it our all.

"If we win this race (to buy West Ham), it will all be because of, and for, Jim."

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see also
Top-flight finances stun Sullivan
11 Jan 10 |  Premier League
'Lots of interest' in West Ham
05 Jan 10 |  Business
London firm to bid for West Ham
30 Dec 09 |  Business
Future bright for London rivals
08 Jan 10 |  Premier League
'Negativity' affecting West Ham
02 Jan 10 |  West Ham
West Ham debt repayments frozen
16 Dec 09 |  West Ham
Gold & Sullivan move for West Ham
09 Dec 09 |  West Ham

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