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West Ham closer to possible sale

By Simon Austin

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson
Gudmundsson values West Ham at 250m according to court documents

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson has moved a step closer to selling West Ham after receiving several provisional offers.

The owner has signed non-disclosure agreements with "five to 10 parties".

This means the potential buyers will be given detailed information on the club that they cannot reveal to anyone else.

Vice chairman Asgeir Fridgeirsson told BBC Sport: "This is part of the ongoing process of Mr Gudmundsson reviewing his assets. But he does not need to sell West Ham and still might not do."

Fridgeirsson said West Ham were talking to potential buyers in order to establish the club's market value.

Once this is done, Gudmundsson will decide whether or not to sell, Fridgeirsson added.

606: DEBATE
Hammersbm6

The agreements fall short of due diligence, which would give prospective buyers full access to the club's accounts.

Several of the interested parties have put in opening bids for West Ham but these have fallen well short of the amount Gudmundsson would want.

According to court documents in Iceland filed by his holding company, Hansa, the 67-year-old values West Ham at 250m. No binding offers have yet been made for the club.

Hansa has gone into voluntary liquidation and Gudmundsson is in talks with the Icelandic government and banks about how to restructure his assets, including West Ham.

Gudmundsson's business empire has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months.

Landsbanki, the Icelandic bank in which he was the biggest shareholder, went into receivership in October.

Then Samson Holdings, the holding company for shares in Landsbanki, filed for bankruptcy last month.

West Ham's shirt sponsor, travel company XL, had gone bust a month earlier and it later emerged that Gudmundsson had been the guarantor of a 163m loan given to the company.

And the Hammers could yet be liable to pay Sheffield United 30m in compensation after an independent tribunal ruled in favour of the Yorkshire club in the Carlos Tevez affair.

Gudmundsson bought West Ham for 85m in November 2006 and has invested a further 30m in the club since then.

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see also
Gudmundsson ponders West Ham sale
06 Nov 08 |  West Ham
Bank crisis hits Hammers spending
08 Oct 08 |  West Ham
West Ham suffer Tevez appeal blow
26 Sep 08 |  Football
West Ham unveil Zola as new boss
11 Sep 08 |  West Ham
West Ham end shirt sponsor deal
12 Sep 08 |  West Ham
End of big spending at West Ham
09 May 08 |  West Ham
West Ham accept 85m takeover bid
21 Nov 06 |  West Ham


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