US journalist bids for Nottingham Forest

Albert Scardino, the American journalist, yesterday made a bid for Nottingham Forest valuing the club at pounds 20m. The offer is for 90 per cent of the shares with the remainder to be held by the club's 207 shareholders, writes Nigel Cope.

Mr Scardino's consortium is backed by Mercury Development Capital and Electra, the investment trust. Mr Scardino, whose wife Marjorie is the new chief executive of the Pearson media group, will hold a minority stake. It is understood that the group hopes to seek a stock market listing "when appropriate".

The move means there are two definite bids for Forest on the table. The Nigel Wray-Phil Soar offer, worth around pounds 17m, will be voted on by shareholders at a meeting on 24 February. Both bids could now be discussed at the same meeting.

It seemed yesterday that the video entrepreneur Grant Bovey had not made a formal bid. He was being backed by Lawrie Lewis, the Blenheim Exhibitions founder.

The Nottinghamshire consortium fronted by Sandy Anderson did not re-enter the fray.