August 29, 2019 / 8:41 AM / 18 days ago

UPDATE 1-Goals Soccer Centres invite takeover bids after accounting probe

(Adds details on accounting probe, background)

Aug 29 (Reuters) - Struggling football pitch operator Goals Soccer Centres Plc said on Thursday it has started a process to invite bids for its business and assets, just weeks after it disclosed accounting issues stretching back to almost a decade.

The company has witnessed a turbulent month after it detected misstatement of past accounts, which forced it to delay publishing 2018 financials and suspend trading of shares. It had also confirmed investigations into two former executives.

The five-a-side football pitch operator, whose shareholders include Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, has a market capitalisation of about 20.6 million pounds ($25.29 million), according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

The bidding process is being conducted by Deloitte LLP, which has been advising the company to explore options, Goals Soccer said.

The company had said no final conclusions have been made regarding the investigations, but that it was clear that “inappropriate actions have taken place”.

$1 = 0.8145 pounds Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Arun Koyyur

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