BDO fight to secure £2.5m Hearts CVA deal

Bryan Jackson. Picture:  Colin Hattersley
Bryan Jackson. Picture: Colin Hattersley
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Hearts administrators BDO are working tirelessly to convince Ukio Bankas they will not get more than £2.5million for the club following meetings in Lithuania yesterday.

Ukio lawyers talked with BDO representatives Bryan Jackson and Trevor Birch for around two hours without reaching an agreement to secure the bank’s 29 per cent stake in Hearts.

Earlier in the day, positive news emerged when creditors of Ukio Bankas Investment Group (UBIG) voted to release the company’s 50 per cent shareholding in Hearts for a token price of almost £100,000.

However, Ukio creditors did not meet yesterday as BDO and others had expected. They are now likely to convene next week. Ukio have received offers of more cash from the Edinburgh businessman Pat Munro, who bid £15m over 15 years for the club in an email on Sunday.

That may lack substance but BDO are now trying to persuade Ukio to accept the £2.5m Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) they conditionally approved last November. Foundation of Hearts, the united fans group, want a deal done to allow Ann Budge to obtain Ukio and UBIG’s shares on their behalf.

“They [Ukio] want the proper process to run through and they want to make sure they can justify to their own creditors that they’re getting the best value for this part of their portfolio,” explained Ian Murray, Foundation of Hearts chairman. “I think BDO are working hard to convince them that is the case but they have to come to their own decision on the matter.

“The belief was that there would be a creditors’ meeting for Ukio Bankas yesterday but that hasn’t happened. We just have to work to get through the proper process and hope we can get this done by the middle of April. That’s where we are today.”

BDO could liquidate Hearts if a deal is not done quickly as money to run the club runs out in a matter of weeks.