Michael Eisner’s Tornante Co. is in talks to purchase English soccer club Portsmouth FC.
The former Walt Disney Co. executive has entered into a 70-day exclusivity agreement with the club that allows for negotiations and discussions for a possible sale, the club said in a statement.
“The agreement is simply to ensure that during this period … the club will not engage in discussions with any other potential bidder and is standard practice in these situations,” the club said.
During the 70-day period Eisner and Tornante will be reviewing the club’s business and financial information.
The team has struggled financially since 2008 and became the largest fan-owned football club in England when it entered bankruptcy protection in 2013. The Pompey Supporters Trust, established that year, was largely funded by fans and saved the team, becoming the club’s majority shareholder in the process.
Tornante, together with Madison Dearborn Partners, owns trading card company Topps, which has licensing deals with U.S. sports leagues and the English Premier League, according to the Financial Times.
“Exciting times,” Eisner said Thursday on Twitter. “Looking forward to coming over and meeting you all. Good luck against Newport County on Saturday!!”
Manufacturing and trade reporter Shwanika Narayan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @shwanika
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