Indian company Venky`s to take over EPL side Rovers: Report

Last Updated: Oct 26, 2010, 15:02 PM IST

London: Indian poultry firm Venky`s Limited
is set to take over English Premier League (EPL) side
Blackburn Rovers with the deal likely to be completed next
month, the club said on Tuesday.

If the deal gets finalised, Venky`s, the flagship company
of Pune-based Venkateshwara Hatcheries Group, will be the
first Indian firm to own an English Premier League club.

The company, which specialises in poultry farming and
pharmaceuticals, has held several meetings with the Rovers and
the Premier League.

Reports say the Indian company is likely to pay 40
million pounds (approx Rs 280 crore) if the deal materialises.

Rovers chairman John Williams said the takeover is close
to completion and both parties were "hopeful" the deal would
be through next month.

"A series of meetings, including discussions with the
Premier League, have followed an extensive due diligence
process. Both parties are hopeful that the transaction will be
completed in November," Williams said on his club`s official
website.

In a statement on the Rovers website, VH Group
chairperson Anuradha J Desai said, "We expect to be the first
Indian company to acquire a Premier League team. We are
particularly delighted that the team is Blackburn Rovers, with
whom we believe we have shared many values and ambitions."

Rovers manager Sam Allardyce said that the takeover would
infuse fresh investment into the club.

"The sooner the club changes hands the better. New
investment is needed and we have not had it for a long time.
Without it a business will crumble and fall," Allardyce said.

Rovers, based in the Blackburn town of Lancashire, are
currently just outside the Premier League relegation zone on
goal difference and have won just once since the opening day
of the season.

The VH Group is Rs 17 billion conglomerate, the largest
Asian poultry group. The group is highly diversified with
businesses with interests in poultry, processed food, animal
vaccines, pharma and healthcare products.

According to its website, Venky`s, formerly known as
Western Hatcheries Ltd., was established in 1976, mainly to
produce chicks for the poultry markets of north India.

PTI