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[Archived] Venky's Takeover Complete

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Brand new leaf in the history of the club. Whilst we were all "hoping" for such a day for the last 3 years, I didnt think there would be so much mixed feelings when it came. Not knowing what we are entering to or whose bed we are getting into either. I hope that the Trust did Jack Walker's legacy one last good deed and chose the right people.

I hope all the stuff I have heard about the Trust feeling that another "trust of sorts" in terms of financial clout is better suited to run this club rather than a "billionnaire" is also false.

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So a new chapter begins, lets hope it has a happy ending!

I for one would like to thank the Walker family for all they have done for the club. Jacks love for the club and Blackburn as a whole cannot be surpassed but we have also seen the club in stable hands since his passing. I know we have not spent money on high profile players as many would have liked but when you look at the financial state of many of the clubs in this country we should be greatful for the direction we have taken.

Welcome to the Rao family, you are now the custodians of a very historic entity. Treat her well and you will be revered by the people who really own the club; the fans.

Here's hoping....

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The offer document to the minority shareholders is here

The key points from the document are:

The Venky's Board has given assurances to BRFCI that Venky's:

(a) will commit funds on a consistent and systematic basis to future transfer and/or loan activity;

B intends to continue to support the existing management team and staff, and that it is committed to

the future development of, and investment in, the Club’s academy and youth infrastructure;

© will continue to support, promote and extend the Club’s local community and CSR activities (VH

and its subsidiaries have their own trust engaged in significant charitable work);

(d) will seek to extend the Blackburn Rovers name and brand into India, the rest of south-east Asia

and beyond;

(e) will seek to develop and improve commercial performance across sponsorship, the Club's kit deal

and general merchandising activity;

(f) will seek to enhance the fan experience at Ewood Park itself on match days (and non match

days) and to maximise season ticket sales and any remaining match day ticket sales; and

(g) intends to improve the Club’s media platforms (for example the Club's TV channel) and to

become more active in the social media space).

In line with this, pursuant to the terms of the Share Purchase Agreement, Venky's also has entered into

the following contractual commitments with BRFCI and the Club:

(a) the principal activity of Blackburn Rovers will continue at all times to be that of a professional

football club;

B the current President, Vice Presidents and Honorary Vice Presidents of Blackburn Rovers will not

be removed from those positions before June 2011 without the prior written consent of those


© the statue of Jack Walker outside Ewood Park will be kept in a good state of repair and will not be

moved to a different location, obscured or have its prominence diluted without BRFCI’s prior

written consent; and

(d) the name of the stand at Ewood Park currently known as the Jack Walker Stand will not be

changed without BRFCI's prior written consent.

The Board of Blackburn Rovers welcomes Venky’s intentions regarding Blackburn Rovers’ employees,

locations and operation of the Club set out in this paragraph and paragraph 8 below.

Commenting on the Offer, Anuradha J Desai, the Chairperson of Venky's, said:

“We are very proud to be associated with Blackburn Rovers, a team with whom we share many values

and ambitions. Going forward we plan to focus on leveraging the global influence in establishing

Blackburn Rovers as a truly global brand. We will absolutely respect the Jack Walker legacy and will be

actively supporting the organisation to ensure that Blackburn Rovers remains one of the best run clubs

within the Premier League. We are particularly pleased that the deal has full support of the Walker

Trustees, the Chairman and the management team who will of course remain in place with our full


Commenting on the Offer, John Williams, Chairman of Blackburn Rovers, said:

"In the course of negotiations leading up to the takeover of the Club, the Blackburn Rovers Board had

several meetings with Balaji Rao and Venkatesh Rao, their advisers and the Premier League. The Rao

family clearly understands the importance of Jack Walker and his legacy and have drawn parallels with

their own family.

Following the sale and purchase of the Blackburn Rovers Shares held by BRFCI there is an opportunity

to take the Club forward, to consolidate its position in the league and look for year on year improvement.

Furthermore the ability to expand into new markets with consequent growth in revenues will be important

to the Club when UEFA Financial Fair Play is introduced. It is a cliché but standing still is going

backwards, certainly that is the case in football and we must focus on the new challenges and

opportunities ahead.

This Offer is being made at the same price per Blackburn Rovers Share as received by BRFCI. The

transfer of ownership of the Blackburn Rovers Shares held by BRFCI having been approved by the

Blackburn Rovers Board, Venky’s is the beneficial owner of 99.9% of the Blackburn Rovers Shares."

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A really emotional moment for me and probably for all of you guys as well. It was the time though for some fresh blood, new ideas and cash. Whilst VH are not the wealthiest owners in the EPL they are solid and respectable and they appear to recognise the 'family' imperatives of the club.

The moving finger writes and having writ moves on. Only time will tell if this is the start of another glorious chapter in our history, I suspect it might be. Welcome on board.

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I don't really know what to say about this news. Sad as it sounds, Rovers have been the one thing in my life that has stayed with me since I was a little kid. From 1980 ish until Jack Walker days, it was a great laugh, never really expected us to win anything, just a little town team with a crumbling old ground, much the same as most teams around here. Then Jack did what he did, and it was wondeful and enjoeed nearly every minute of it, good times and bad.

But all my living memories have Rovers printed in them, and my overriding feeling at todays announcement is of real sadness-a feeling that the party is over.

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There was a sub title to this thread, regarding Vinjay's reaction. Here's the initial reaction:

"Yahoo! Liberation day at last! I'll have more to say later too busy celebrating right now."


Vinjay has asked to be allowed to post again (if only for one day). I'm very tempted to let him :D

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Operational points are these:

5. Information relating to Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers is a public limited company, registered in England and Wales, and which operates as

Blackburn Rovers football club, one of only 4 teams to have won the FA Premier League, the richest

football league in world football. The Club has a proud history, competing at the highest level of the

domestic game and, on occasion, in European competition.

Blackburn Rovers became a public limited company in 1981, but was formed following a meeting in the

St. Leger Hotel on 5 November 1875 and was one of the 12 founder members of the Football League in

1888. The Club has won the English football league 3 times in total, as well as winning the FA Cup 6



For the year ended 30 June 2010, Blackburn Rovers reported a turnover of £57.8m (2009: £50.9 million).

Loss before taxation for the year was £1.9m (2009: £3.6million). As at 30 June 2010 the closing net debt

was £21m (2009: £20.3million).

6. Information relating to Venky's and VH

Venky's, a company incorporated in England and Wales, was formed on 13 October 2010 exclusively for

the purpose of making the Offer and contracting to purchase the Blackburn Rovers Shares held by

BRFCI. Venky's, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of VH, has not traded since its incorporation.

Established in 1971, VH is a fully integrated poultry company based in India (headquartered in Pune) and

has an 85% share of the Indian poultry market. The business is split with approximately 60% of revenues

in relation to poultry products and 40% of revenues in relation to veterinary and pharmaceutical products.

It is opening its first fully owned poultry vaccine plant in Switzerland next year.

VH has 26 registered subsidiaries in India, but also operates in 17 other markets, including Bangladesh,

Vietnam, Brazil, South Africa and the Middle East. It is seeking to have operations in 25 countries within

two years.

VH remains a family run business with the daughter of the founder of the company (Dr B V Rao) now its

Chairperson, Mrs. Anuradha J Desai. Her two brothers, Mr. B Venkatesh Rao and Mr. B Balaji Rao, are

joint Managing Directors. Each are also directors of Venky's.

VH has been involved in sports marketing initiatives both in India and internationally for some time (for

example, with cricket through the Indian Premier League and the 20/20 Champions League as sponsor of

Trinidad and Tobago, and with tennis through the ATP Mumbai tournament and an endorsement deal

with tennis player Elena Dementieva). However, it wanted to expand into other sports, most notably

football, and is passionate about the opportunity, through Venky's, to own Blackburn Rovers.

VH has grown significantly over the last 40 years but under strict and conservative financial controls. The

business philosophy remains as it was from the start, namely to bring up-to-date technologies to the

common rural farmers of India and beyond and then to nurture them as long-term partners of the

business. A culture of employee care (there are now more than 7,500 employees in VH and its

subsidiaries) and customer service is at the heart of its business approach.

7. Financing of the Offer

Full acceptance by all the Blackburn Rovers Shareholders of the Offer would require a cash payment by

Venky's of approximately £1,245. The cash consideration payable under the Offer will be funded from the

existing cash resources of Venky's.

Hammonds LLP, legal adviser to Venky's is satisfied that the necessary cash resources are available to

Venky's through its existing bank facilities to enable Venky's to satisfy the consideration payable as a

result of full acceptance of the Offer.

8. Blackburn Rovers management, employees and locations

Venky's intends to continue to run Blackburn Rovers as a football business, with operations remaining at

the current locations and has no intention to move from Ewood Park. However, Venky's believes that as

part of its future strategy, there is scope to enhance commercial sponsorship opportunities through its

associated network.

Venky's does not have any immediate intentions to dispose of or otherwise change the use of any

material assets within the Blackburn Rovers portfolio.


Venky's will work with the executive management team at Blackburn Rovers and expects that senior

management will continue to be involved in the ongoing business of the Club. John Williams, Thomas

Finn and Martin Goodman will remain as executive Blackburn Rovers Directors and Robert Coar and

Richard Matthewman will remain as non-executive Blackburn Rovers Directors. David Brown is to resign

as a non-executive Blackburn Rovers Director on the date of this document.

Venky's has given assurances to the Blackburn Rovers Board that the existing contractual employment

rights of all employees of the Blackburn Rovers Group, including pension obligations, will be safeguarded.


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  • Backroom

'I for one welcome our new Chicken overlords'


In honesty I have no idea how I feel about it, I'm both aprehensive but also a little eggsited (sorry)

Perhaps the scariest thing of all - Iceman was right!

We can only hope this is in the best interest of the club, right now none of us can be sure.

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