Easter Road club in refinancing deal
Hibs offers fans ownership through new share issue
The club said today that it is also free of bank debt and that it has reduced its overall debt by half.
It plans to raise £2.5 million in exchange for new shares that will give supporters 51% ownership. All money raised from supporters through this process will go into the club in a move to bolster the team’s performance.
Existing shareholders, including the holding company, will retain their shares but their percentage ownership of the club will be reduced to below 50% as new shares are issued.
The club said today that it is a “fundamental part of the board’s strategy that Easter Road Stadium and the Hibernian Training Centre will continue to be owned by the Club”. These assets have been valued at £25m.
Hibs holding company has provided new loans and a one-off payment with Bank of Scotland so that it is now free of bank debt. The holding company has agreed to halve the overall debt by converting £4.5 million of loans into new ordinary shares in the club. The remaining loans will be refinanced as a single £5m mortgage provided by the holding company.
Two new non-executive directors are being elected directly by supporters from 17 candidates and will be in place by the time of the AGM on 28 January.
The board said it is making these commitments following a full consultation with supporters at a series of supporter meetings attended by more than 500 supporters and based on the results of an online survey of almost 4,000.
Club chairman Rod Petrie said: “The environment of Scottish football is changing including a working group set up by the Scottish Government to look at supporter involvement with football clubs. After extensive consultations with supporters we have decided on the Hibernian Way, the right way forward for Hibernian Football Club.
“Supporters will have the opportunity to contribute directly to their Club. The more supporters contribute then the more of the Club they will own. And by owning the Club they will also own Easter Road Stadium and the Training Centre and the cash they raise.”