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September 2, 2008

Ex-PM Thaksin signs MoU to sell Man City to UAE company
Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has signed a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi United Group to sell English Premier League club Manchester City to the Arab company, agencies reported.

UK’s Financial Times said Monday’s proposed offer for City gave it an enterprise value of £200m ($358m), ranking it very much as a medium-sized club. A year ago the club’s equity was valued at £21.6m, with £60m of net debt.

However, in a recent interview, Garry Cook, the club’s executive chairman, admitted City had a short-term “cash challenge” and had since taken out a £30m bank loan.

It is unclear how much Thaksin stands to profit, although sources close to him put the figure at about £50m, added the paper.

Under the deal Thaksin will become honorary chairman of the club and retain a shareholding, said ABC News.

Thaksin bought City last year and his ownership of the club has been constantly overshadowed by the problems he faces in Thailand.

A warrant was issued for his arrest last month after he failed to appear in court to face corruption charges.

His Thai assets, believed to be worth about $1.6 billion, have been frozen until the charges against him are resolved.

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