Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan scores Goals acquisition

UK-listed Goals Soccer Centres has been acquired by Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan in a deal worth £73 million.

Five-a-side football business Goals Soccer Centres has agreed to a 144p per share offer from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

The deal represents a 7 per cent premium on Goals’ last closing price and comes after the business posted a 34 per cent rise since news emerged of the possible takeover three months ago.

Goals owns and operates 43 outdoor football pitches in the UK, and also has one in the US.

Under the terms of the deal Goals is being acquired by Goliath, a newly-incorporated company controlled by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Scotland-headquartered Goals Soccer Centre has been run by managing director Keith Rogers since 2000, when he led a management buy-in. He holds an 8.4 per cent stake in the company.

In the year to date 31 December 2011, Goals had revenues of £30.4 million and pre-tax profits of £9.2 million.

Rogers comments, ‘This investment will represent a significant step in the implementation of management’s strategy to expand our scale, geography and capability.

‘Twelve years ago, we positioned Goals to capture value through the provision of “next generation soccer facilities” across the UK.’

Following the purchase, the current management team of Goals will remain in their positions.

Jo Taylor, vice president and senior representative for the London office of Teachers’ Private Capital, adds, ‘We believe that this will be a win-win for investors, employees and the thousands of players who enjoy using Goals’ facilities each week.

‘The management team has built a robust business since acquiring Goals in 2000, and we are excited at the growth plans for the future.’

Earlier in the month Goals confirmed that it had received an approach from Patron Capital Partners, a firm that has a controlling interest in rival five-a-side football pitch operator Powerleague.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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