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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2007, 13:25 GMT
Ipswich agree to sell 44m stake
Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks
Sheepshanks is to continue as Ipswich chairman
Ipswich Town's board has agreed to sell a majority stake in the club to private businessman Marcus Evans.

The proposed investment will see Evans purchase the Championship club's approximate 32m debt.

He will invest a further 12m through the issue of new shares to become the majority owner and shareholder.

Chairman David Sheepshanks, who will remain in his post, said: "Marcus Evans' investment is potentially great news for Ipswich Town."


Evans' offer, which remains subject to contracts being agreed and a period of due diligence, will now be recommended to shareholders.

Existing shareholders will retain their shares albeit as a minority group.

"The board have been in discussion with Marcus for some time," said Sheepshanks.

"We are pleased now to be able to make this announcement about the deal that, when completed, will enable further investment in Jim Magilton's team-building and our quest to bring Premier League football back to Portman Road."

Magilton's side are currently fourth in the Championship ahead of Sunday's East Anglian derby with Norwich and Evans insists that the club's potential attracted him.

Evans said: "I believe that Ipswich has great potential to build on its rich footballing heritage.

"The club has an excellent reputation, both off the pitch and on it.

"The board has done a good job under difficult conditions under the stewardship of David Sheepshanks, who will continue in his role as chairman.

"Jim Magilton and the squad have made a terrific start to the season and will have my full support."

Evans' wealth is thought to have been built in the corporate hospitality sector.

His company, the Marcus Evans Group, organises sports hospitality and business events, promotes conferences and provides professional training all over the world.

Little is known about the man himself, although last year Evans was linked with an 800m bid for the newspaper group Trinity Mirror.

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