SETANTA SPORTS has been thrown a lifeline by one of its shareholders. Len Blavatnik, who holds a 3% stake in the company and a much larger amount in its counterpart ‘Top Up TV’ has – according to the BBC’s Robert Peston – offered Setanta £20million in return for a 51% stake in the company writes James Bourne.
Russian-American billionaire Blavatnik bought a 3% share in February, and appears to be making this offer in order to give Setanta some more time to sort out a more concrete deal. A £30million payment to the Premier League must be paid by Monday.
However, this news seems to contradict earlier reports that Setanta had found a “mystery white knight” backer who was willing to contribute up to £50million in order to stave off administration.
Despite these reports, Setanta still remains in serious trouble. Analysts predict that they need another 700,000 subscribers on top of the 1.2 million they already have in order to break even. The company is reported to be losing upwards of £100million a year.