Sports agency deal scores Lord Ashcroft £11m windfall

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Lord Ashcroft is set to top up his bank account with £11 million after the AIM-listed sports agency and marketing firm he backs agreed to a takeover.

TLA Worldwide, in which the billionaire Tory peer has a near-12% stake through his investment vehicle Strand Associates, has agreed to be bought by Atlantic Alliance Partnership Corp, a Nasdaq-quoted shell company, for almost £100 million.

AAPC, run by media dealmaker Jonnie Goodwin, is offering one of its shares for every 111 held by TLA investors, effectively valuing TLA shares at 65p. 

However, shareholders have the option to take 61.5p in cash for every share instead. 

The deal, which still requires 65% shareholder approval, boosted TLA’s share price by 15p, or 37%, to 56p yesterday.

Lord Ashcroft, the former deputy chairman of the Tory Party who found himself at the centre of a media storm last year after co-writing a controversial book on Prime Minister David Cameron, first invested in TLA when it floated on the junior market at the end of 2011 at 20p per share.

TLA made its name representing baseball stars in the US, but branched out last year when it bought sports marketing agency Elite Sports Properties in a $19.5 million (£13.7 million) deal that added British Olympic legends Sir Chris Hoy and Rebecca Adlington to its books.

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March 31, 2016 |
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