Reading in advanced takeover talks with North American group

Reading fans protest against owner Dai Yongge
Reading fans protest against owner Dai Yongge

Reading are in advanced talks with a North American group over a potential takeover, in a huge development for the crisis-hit League One club.

Dai Yongge, the Reading owner, has agreed the broad terms of a deal with the party and is hopeful of selling the club before the end of May.

As reported last week by Telegraph Sport, Reading are expected to avoid sanctions after the recent tax bill was settled on Friday after entering exclusivity negotiations.

It has now emerged that the mystery consortium from North America are the preferred bidders, appearing to have secured a deal ahead of hedge fund company Genevra Associates.

The party are understood to have advanced funds ahead of approval by the Football League to enable Reading to pay their liabilities and avoid another points deduction.

Reading were in danger of being deducted another two points this month – to take the overall total to 20 under Yongge – if liabilities had not been paid, but it is believed a short-term crisis is now avoided.

In a statement, Reading said: “The club can confirm Mr Dai has committed to a letter of intent with a potential purchaser of Reading Football Club.

“The parties will now enter a period of exclusive negotiation to agree the final terms. The completion is expected to take up to two months, at which time the purchaser will be announced.

“The transaction would include the transfer of Mr Dai’s shareholding in The Reading Football Club Limited, as well as the Select Car Leasing Stadium and Bearwood Park training ground.”

A letter of intent will detail terms and conditions, plus a time frame for the potential sale and an exclusivity clause.

Reading are currently 18th in the League One table, six points above the relegation zone.

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