Goals Soccer board accepts and recommends offer from TPC

Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board said on Friday the directors of British outdoor soccer centres operator Goals Soccer Centres plc (LON:GOAL) had agreed to its GBP73.1m (USD115m/EUR94m) takeover offer and recommended shareholders to accept it.

The agreement follows an approach by Teachers’ made in April 2012.

The Canadian fund is making the GBP1.44 (USD/EUR) a share bid through its private equity arm Teachers’ Private Capital (TPC), whose vice president and head of the fund’s office in London, Jo Taylor, said it would support Goals to achieve its full potential and strengthen its position as the country’s premier five-a-side operator. Goals’ managers made the company into a solid business since they took it over in 2000, Taylor said.

The price is a premium of 34% to Goals’ closing on 30 March 2012, the buyer said.

The target company, in turn, sees the deal with Teachers’ as an important step in the management’s efforts to expand its scale, geography and capability, according to managing director Keith Rogers.

Completion is subject to clearance by Goal’s shareholders controlling at least 75% of its shares, among other conditions.
The British company owns and runs 43 outdoor five-a-side football centres in the UK and one in the US, with its locations receiving over 100,000 customers weekly.

Goals employs around 800 staff and generated revenues of GBP30.4m last year. It also announced earlier in July an approach from private equity fund Patron Capital Partners.

TPC manages a global portfolio worth some USD12bn.