Bidding war looms for Goals investors

The prospect of a bidding war for Goals Soccer Centres increased yesterday after the five-a-side football chain agreed to a £73.1m takeover by the pension fund owner of the Camelot lottery operator, only for a rival to advise shareholders to hold their horses.

Canada's Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has agreed to pay 144p per share in cash for the chain in a deal that includes the promise of a £40m investment over five years. However, Goals' share price jumped 13.5p, or around 10 per cent, to 148.5p, above the agreed deal price.

This came on hopes that a higher bid could emerge from Patron Capital Partners, a private-equity firm which already owns rival football centres operator Powerleague.