Loftus Road confirms bid talks

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The Independent Online
SHARES IN Loftus Road, the owner of QPR football club and Wasps, the Rugby Union club, yesterday jumped 27.6 per cent after the group confirmed it was in talks with a number of third parties which could lead to an offer for the company.

In a statement Loftus Road said: "The board has received a number of preliminary inquiries from third parties which may or may not lead to an offer for the company."

Analysts said that Chris Wright, the majority shareholder and owner of Chrysalis, the record company, could not support the company alone and was looking for financial support.

The news follows speculation about the future ownership of Manchester United and the sale of a 9.9 per cent stake in Liverpool FC to Granada.

After a rights issue earlier this year and the appointment of Simon Crane, from Coca-Cola, as chief executive, analysts have been persuaded that Mr Wright is committed to the club.

Despite the group's poor performance analysts said that the Rugby Union franchise was in good shape and pointed to a 10 per cent rise in season ticket sales at QPR.

Speculation in the City centred on the possibility of a businessman seeking a trophy asset turning the group's fortunes around. Shares in Loftus Road closed at 14.5p.