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Real Mallorca takeover by Freddy Shepherd still on

Real Mallorca are still in talks with former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd about a possible takeover, the Spanish Primera Liga club said on Wednesday.

“At the moment there is only contact with Freddy Shepherd, the only party formally interested in buying the club,” Mallorca spokesman Hector Romero told Reuters.

Former Mallorca president Vicenc Grande put his 93 percent stake in the club up for sale after his Grupo Drac real estate company filed for insolvency in June.

Grande was replaced this month as president by an associate, Joaquin Garcia, who said he had until the end of January to find a new investor.

Romero said the club would not provide any financial details but a source close to the situation said in June that Mallorca were on sale for around 40 million euros ($56.7 million).

Shepherd, who lives in Mallorca for most of the year, was on holiday until Jan. 10 and unavailable for comment, said an official at Shepherd Offshore in Newcastle.

An outspoken and controversial figure during his spell with the English Premier League club, Shepherd said in late June he was in talks to buy Mallorca, currently struggling one place above the relegation zone in Spain’s top league.

Grande had been close to selling his stake to British businessman Paul Davidson for a reported 38 million euros but the deal fell through in November.

Mallorca shareholders are due to hold their annual meeting on Jan. 30 and Romero said a vote could be held then on a possible takeover.

If no agreement was reached with a buyer, shareholders would have to decide whether Garcia would continue as president or be replaced, he added.

Mallorca said on Tuesday they had signed Israeli goalkeeper Dudu Aouate from Deportivo Coruna as cover for injured first-choice keeper Miguel Angel Moya and Romero said this was proof the club was financially sound.

“It’s clear that the international economic situation makes the functioning of all companies more difficult and our club is no exception,” he said.

“But to meet the contractual rights of players you have to make financially solvent guarantees.”

Wed 31 December, 2008
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