Preston North End deny suggestion that asking price was raised during takeover negotiations

Preston North End have denied that the asking price for the club was increased during recent takeover negotiations.

By Dave Seddon
Sunday, 10th April 2022, 4:30 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th April 2022, 4:40 pm

American businessman Chris Kirchner, who is now the preferred bidder to buy Derby County from their administrators, was in talks to buy North End during February and March.

He had been granted a period of exclusivity to conduct due diligence, a spell which ended on March 31 without a deal being done.

During a Q&A session on Twitter in the last couple of days, primarily interacting with Derby fans, the subject of his bid to buy PNE came up.

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Chris Kirchner (right) was in negotiations to buy Preston North End

In one reply, Kirchner tweeted: “Let’s do a hypothetical here… Ever buy a car? If someone raises the price halfway through the deal by 10% over what you agreed then wants to force you to buy options and packages you don’t want/need with the car, would you buy it?”

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On Sunday afternoon, North End released a statement on their official club website.

It read: “Whilst we have never confirmed publicly, due to a confidentiality agreement, which party(ies) we engaged with in regard to the recent potential sale of PNE, we have noted comments circulating on social media and would like to make the following statement.

"When we were approached in February 2022 regarding the potential sale of the club a number of valuations were put to us by one party culminating in an offer which was confirmed as acceptable.

"This was just the start of a process that could have led to a successful takeover. Various other elements that would have been required were not completed by the bidder within the agreed timescale.

"The most important point to make absolutely clear is that contrary to suggestions in the public domain we at no time increased the asking price from the price and terms included in the originally agreed offer."

Kirchner, who tried to buy Derby last year before pulling out of a deal just before Christmas, was announced as the Rams’ preferred bidder last week.

Derby are second bottom of the Championship table, nine points from safety with five matches left.