Dickson Minto and Halliwells advise on Saints takeover

Dickson Minto and Halliwells have scored lead roles on hedge fund Sisu Capital’s approach to Southampton Football Club.

Dickson Minto partner Colin MacNeill is advising the football club, which is owned by Southampton Leisure, which is normally advised by Jones Day.

Halliwells partner Frank Shephard is acting for Sisu, which has made an offer in the region of £40m that would see it become a majority shareholder in the club. MacNeill and Shephard declined to comment.

Sisu is receiving financial advice from Altium capital while Southampton FC has turned to Seymour Price.

Southampton FC has been on the lookout for an investment partner for some time, with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen once thought to have been interested. A statement from the club’s board said it had not received a formal offer from Allen.

Under the terms of Sisu’s approach it is intended that the hedge fund’s investment would come via a placing of new shares at a price of 40p per ordinary share. Sisu
intends to become a majority shareholder in the club and has said it will be willing to make a tender offer to existing shareholders provided that would not result in it becoming a minority shareholder.

The exact structure of the deal is still being thrashed out with executive remuneration packages likely to be negotiated once an investment has been made.

Sisu said it is committed to making a long-term investment in the club with the intention of maximising its chances of being promoted to the Barclays Premier League.