Shares in FC Copenhagen owner boosted by takeover talk

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Shares in Parken Sport & Entertainment PARKEN.CO, owner of soccer club FC Copenhagen, climbed on Tuesday as its main shareholder confirmed media reports about investor interest in buying the business.+

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Parken’s largest shareholder, pension fund LD Fonde, confirmed to Reuters that it had been in dialogue with Britain’s Redstone Advisory Partners about selling its 29 percent stake in the company.

“We have not made any agreement. I don’t know what will happen now. The ball is in their half (of the) court,” LD Fonde Chief Executive Dorrit Vanglo told Reuters.

“They’re not only interested in our shares, but all of Parken,” she added.

Danish online outlet Inside Business had earlier on Tuesday reported that foreign investors could make a takeover offer this week valuing the company at up to 1.27 billion Danish crowns ($195 million).

The investors, backed by U.S. fund Fortress Investment Group, would pay 105-120 crowns ($16.1-18.4) per share, Inside Business reported, based on conversations with several sources close to the matter.

Wes Edens, the co-founder of Fortress, bought a stake in English Championship side Aston Villa, along with Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris, last July.

Vanglo said LD Fonde had only been in contact with Redstone and their lawyers, the Danish branch of global law firm DLA Piper, and not the investors behind any bid.

She declined to comment on price negotiations but said that “our shares are for sale at the right conditions”. “We’re not going to have our stake in Parken forever,” she said.

LD Fonde, which is based on contributions from the 1970s and has 41 billion Danish crowns ($6.3 billion) under management, is being gradually closed down over a number of years and is therefore interested in selling its illiquid shareholdings, such as Parken, she said.

Parken said in a statement that it had not been in dialogue with foreign investors and that it had not received an offer.

Founded by a merger of two clubs in 1992, FC Copenhagen have since won the Danish league 12 times. Much traveled Senegalese striker Dame N’Doye is one of their highest profile players.

The parent company also operates the Telia Parken national stadium in Copenhagen and holiday activity centers.

Parken shares initially rose 32 percent to 109 Danish crowns after the report and traded up 21 percent at 99.6 crowns at 1350 GMT.

Additional reporting by Emil Gjerding Nielson, Editing by Jason Neely/Keith Weir