Affected market: Football
The OFT's decision on reference under section 22 given on 27 August
Chelsea Ltd is wholly owned by Isherwood Investments Ltd, a company
incorporated in Cyprus, which is in turn wholly owned by Taverham
Holdings Limited (THL), a company incorporated in the British Virgin
Islands. Mr Roman Abramovich is the sole beneficial owner of THL. These
companies were established earlier in 2003 and have no pre-existing
business activities or turnover. Chelsea Village plc realises its
turnover from the operation of the Chelsea Football Club and the supply
of various products and services that are related to that club. For the
year ended 30 June 2002 Chelsea Village had a UK turnover of £115.3
The transaction is an acquisition of shares conferring a controlling
interest in Chelsea Village. The acquisition of the 50.09 per cent
interest was completed on 2 July 2003.
The transaction was notified to the OFT on 1 August 2003 and the 40 day
administrative deadline expires on 26 September 2003. The statutory
deadline will expire on 1 November 2003.
As a result of this transaction Chelsea Ltd and Chelsea Village have
ceased to be distinct. The UK turnover of Chelsea Village exceeds £70
million, so that the turnover test in section 23(1)(b) of the Enterprise
Act 2002 is satisfied. A relevant merger situation has been created.
There is no horizontal overlap between the activities of the parties,
nor are there any vertical links between them. There is also no risk of
any conglomerate effects arising. The merger does not appear to result
in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets
in the United Kingdom for goods or services.
This merger will therefore not be referred to the Competition Commission
under section 22(1) of the Act.