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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 07:17 GMT
West Ham accept 85m takeover bid
Iceland businessman Eggert Magnusson is leading the consortium
Magnusson is based in Reykjavik
West Ham have announced they have accepted Eggert Magnusson's 85m takeover bid for the club.

Magnusson's consortium have secured agreements to buy 83% of shares and the Hammers' board have recommended the offer to remaining shareholders.

Magnusson will replace Terry Brown as West Ham chairman, although Brown will stay on at Upton Park as a director.

Brown said: "The offer reflects fair value considering our history, recent performance and prospects."

Brown added: "Eggert Magnusson is fully committed to ensuring the club can continue its great tradition of success both on and off the field, to the benefit of supporters and the wider community."

Magnusson said: "I am both delighted and honoured that Terry Brown and his colleagues wish to support our offer for West Ham.

MAGNUSSON FACTS
Age: 59
Will become West Ham chairman
Former owner of import/export and bread & biscuit manufacturing company
Former president of Valur Reykjavik
President of Icelandic FA since 1989
On Uefa executive committee since 2002

"We can now end the uncertainty of recent weeks and move forward into the next phase of development of this great club, with Alan Pardew leading our efforts on the pitch.

"I fully appreciate the personal responsibility that will come with becoming chairman of West Ham and pledge to the staff, the players and the fans that I am here to serve and to do all that I can to deliver genuine success on and off the field."

Magnusson says he will consider moving the club from Upton Park to London's Olympic Stadium.

"In terms of the club's location we are buying what we see, which is West Ham at Upton Park," he explained.

"But if there is an opportunity to discuss a long-term move to the Olympic Stadium I would explore that.

"I recognise there will also need to be an athletics legacy from the London 2012 Olympics."

Magnusson's consortium is backed by Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, a financier worth $1bn and chairman of Icelandic bank Landsbanki.

GUDMUNDSSON FACTS
Age: 65
Main backer of Magnusson consortium/ will become club's honorary president
Chairman of Icelandic bank Landsbanki
Interests in finance, international shipping, transport, seafood processing
Former chairman of Icelandic team KR

It is thought to have taken on the club's 22.5m debt, although there is no mention in the club's announcement.

Gudmundsson will assume the position of honorary life president of West Ham, while Brown will be appointed honorary life vice-president.

Magnusson, who is president of the Icelandic Football Association and is also on the Uefa executive committee, said: "Mr Gudmundsson has given me full backing and responsibility to take the club forward.

"He and I have known each other through football for many years and we share a passion for the game, particularly here in England.

"Mr Gudmundsson's commitment to the club is vital and he also believes that we can build something very special here at West Ham."

Magnusson is not expected to formally replace Brown as chairman for a couple of weeks while the deal is formally processed.

Once the deal has been finalised, Magnusson will resign from his Icelandic FA post but he could keep his place on Uefa's executive committee.

He has already met Hammers boss Alan Pardew to reassure him of his support and that he will have funds for signings in the January transfer window.

However, the futures of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano look less secure.

606: DEBATE
HT

The Argentina internationals were brought to West Ham by Iranian-born Kia Joorabchian, who then led a takeover attempt that failed to lead to any offer for the club.

Tevez and Mascherano have played sporadically and their arrival has coincided with West Ham's recent slump.

The Hammers have gone out of both the Uefa and Carling Cups and they are fifth-bottom of the Premiership.

But Magnusson says he has complete faith in Pardew as boss at Upton Park.

"I think he is a great manager, he has done great things with West Ham," the Icelander said.

"Last season was a great year and I fully believe he will help me take West Ham to the next stage.

"It is clear in my mind that there will be funds available for the manager in the January transfer window.

"He has absolute power over his team and it his decision who he wants to add to his squad.

"I will work very closely with him on what his desires are in the January window and going on to the next level."

SEE ALSO
Comment: The Ice Man cometh
21 Nov 06 |  Football
Magnusson 'to succeed' at Hammers
20 Nov 06 |  West Ham Utd
Pardew keen for takeover decision
16 Nov 06 |  West Ham Utd
Hammers 'takeover decision close'
30 Oct 06 |  West Ham Utd


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