FOUNDATION OF HEARTS chairman Ian Murray is now 80 per cent confident his group can deliver a Creditors’ Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to enable Hearts to exit administration. With the Foundation announced as preferred bidder for the Tynecastle club, Murray believes a CVA is achievable to avoid liquidation and gain control of the club on behalf of fans.
“On a scale of one to ten, given a number of things are outwith our control, I’m eight out of ten confident we can deliver a CVA,” he told the Evening News after announcing that the Foundation’s bid is being funded by unnamed Edinburgh-based business investors.
The people involved do not constitute a huge consortium and can be counted on one hand. They are each willing to invest “large sums” to fund the Foundation’s bid for control of Hearts and will be identified publicly once a CVA is agreed.
“We need to make sure delivering a CVA is possible,” continued Murray. “The identities of our investors have to come out because there is the fit and proper issue to deal with but it’s right that we go through a proper process. Once a CVA is deliverable, then that will certainly be part of the process.”
Valnetas UAB, administrators for Hearts’ biggest creditor, Ukio Bankas, have stated privately that they want £5 million to agree a CVA. Ukio are owed £15m by the Edinburgh club, who entered administration in June with combined debts of more than £28m.
Foundation of Hearts have so far offered less than £3m for the CVA, but have managed to secure preferred bidder status. “It’s not a case of meeting their figures. Where we need to get to deliver the CVA has yet to be determined, but our offer is currently on the table,” said Murray. “The fact we’ve got preferred bidder status shows BDO are comfortable with the people behind our bid.”
Trevor Birch, a senior partner at Hearts’ administrators BDO, said: “With the nominating of Foundation of Hearts (FoH) as preferred bidder and the announcement of its bid structure, FoH has now reached the next stage in the process of Hearts exiting administration. It has been a great achievement by staff, players, management and fans to enable the club get to this stage.
“However, there is still some way to go and we will work with FoH to ensure that the bid produces an acceptable CVA for the creditors. At the moment we cannot put a timescale on the process as a number of negotiations with various parties still need to take place and we are waiting for the appointment of administrators to UBIG to be ratified. However, we can ensure that collectively we make as much progress as possible on our side so we are able to finalise the matter quickly once the opportunity presents itself.”