BWFC Shareholders Approve Privatisation Move

  • January 26, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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Burnden Leisure Plc - the parent company behind Bolton Wanderers - is to become a private limited company, after shareholders approved the move.

With Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside and first-team manager Dougie Freedman in attendance, the club held their Annual General Meeting on Friday, where they gave shareholders the opportunity to vote in favour of the switch or voice their disapproval.

Financial director Anthony Massey was also at the meeting and explained to those in the audience that Bolton had been effectively trading as a private company since Eddie Davies took control of 94.5% of the club almost 10 years ago.

Despite a minority of objections, the decision to rename Burnden Leisure Plc to Burnden Leisure Limited was approved, with Brett Warbuton re-elected to his role as vice chairman and Richard Gee, a property development expert, also accepted onto the board of directors.

Under legal obligations, Wanderers will no longer have to hold an AGM but have announced their intention to hold an annual forum - where existing shareholders would retain their right to question the daily operations of the club.

One of several talking points at the AGM was Wanderers' takeover of the Bolton Whites Hotel - formerly the De Vere Whites Hotel. After months of speculation, it was revealed that Burnden Leisure would take on debts exceeding £1million but no financial transaction took place as the deal reached a conclusion.

Questions from shareholders ranged from the club's £163.8million debt, activity in the transfer market and the state of the club going forward. Privacy was requested for certain aspects of the meeting, something which we agreed to adhere to.

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