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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 November 2006, 16:36 GMT
Billionaire to back West Ham bid
Iceland businessman Eggert Magnusson is leading the consortium
Magnusson is based in Reykjavik
A billionaire financier said he will provide the major backing for a bid by an Icelandic consortium to take over Premiership side West Ham.

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, chairman of the Icelandic bank Landsbanki, is set to help Eggert Magnusson's efforts.

"Gudmundsson has confirmed that he is the main financial backer," said a statement released by the consortium.

"He has given Mr Magnusson his full and absolute support in his efforts to mount a successful bid."

The statement added: "Mr Gudmundsson is a wealthy Icelandic businessman with interests in companies with international operations in the field of finance, transportation, real estate and publications.

"Since he became chairman of Landsbanki in 2003, the bank has taken a lead in sponsoring sport in Iceland, particularly in football with an emphasis on the development of young players.

"Mr Gudmundsson is known in Iceland for his love of football. As a young man he played for the country's oldest club, KR in Reykjavik, where he later became the chairman."

Meanwhile, Magnusson received a boost in his bid to take over the London club after the Hammers allowed him to inspect the club's accounts.

West Ham directors were told at a board meeting on Tuesday that Magnusson will be allowed to carry out due diligence.

Chairman Terence Brown met the 59-year-old on Monday and granted him permission to look at their accounts.


Magnusson, a Uefa executive committee member, is unconcerned about reported interest from America and a spokesman confirmed: "We are moving forward."

A bid from a rival consortium, fronted by Iranian-born Kia Joorabchian, has so far failed to materialise.

That bid had been the front-runner, but the lack of an offer led Brown to meet Magnusson, who is head of the Icelandic FA and a member of the Uefa executive committee, on Monday.

Magnusson is thought to have indicated that his consortium is prepared to pay 75m for the club, with most of it coming from equity rather than borrowed money, and would also take over the 23m debt.

He is also committed to providing money for new signings in the January transfer window and to keeping faith with under-pressure manager Alan Pardew.

A West Ham spokesman said: "A full board meeting took place on Tuesday and the directors were updated on the latest position regarding a takeover, but no decisions were taken."

Magnusson has said he will step down from his positions with Uefa and the Icelandic FA if his takeover goes through.

Hammers 'takeover decision close'
30 Oct 06 |  West Ham Utd


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