UK sponsor Patron Capital walks away from Goals Soccer Centres deal

British private equity fund Patron Capital Partners, controlling soccer centres operator Powerleague Group Ltd, said on Wednesday it had decided not to make a takeover offer for Goals Soccer Centres plc (LON:GOAL).

Patron, which on 20 July said it was still considering a potential offer for Goals, did not elaborate on its decision to walk away.

Goal’s board accepted that day a GBP1.44 (USD2.24/EUR1.81) a share takeover offer from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, valuing the target at GBP73.1m, the two companies have said.

Teachers’, which first approached Goals in April, offered to buy the UK outdoor soccer centres operator for a premium of 34% to its closing price on 30 March 2012.
Through its private equity arm Teachers’ Private Capital (TPC), the Canadian fund plans to support Goals in achieving its full potential and strengthen its position as the country’s premier five-a-side operator, TPC’s vice president Jo Taylor said in an earlier comment.

Goals’ managers, which took over the firm in 2000, see this deal as an important step in their efforts to expand the firm’s scale, geography and capability, managing director Keith Rogers has said.

The target company runs 43 outdoor five-a-side football centres in the UK and one in the US. It has more than 100,000 visitors to its locations weekly and employs some 800. Last year, Goals posted revenues of GBP30.4m.