// Mike Ashley takes control of the operating companies which run the Coventry Building Society (CBS) Arena
// Frasers Group had been named as the preferred bidder after making a £17 million bid
Former Newcastle United owner and Frasers Group tycoon Mike Ashley has taken over the operating companies which run the Coventry Building Society (CBS) Arena.
Frasers Group had been named as the preferred bidder after making a £17 million bid for the businesses, which have been placed into administration.
Coventry City agreed a deal on Wednesday to sell an 85% stake in the club to businessman Doug King.
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A court ruled his £25 million offer to own the stadium had come too late.
The judge said there was “not enough substance” in King’s bid to delay making the administration orders and had been told the Frasers Group would pull out if there was further delay.
The court heard that Arena Coventry Ltd (ACL), Arena Coventry (2006) Ltd and IEC Experience Ltd have only £1,201 in their bank accounts, with an energy bill for £2,000 due for payment on Friday.
Lawyers also told the court the companies would need £300,000 to continue trading beyond Friday and £645,000 to do so to the end of the month.
On Wednesday, Arena advisors FRP disclosed that only an advance payment from Frasers had saved the stadium from closure.
Ashley has assured Coventry City over their future at the stadium.
He sold his stake in Newcastle for £305 million in October 2021 – having paid £134 million for the club in 2007.
He was in charge at St James’ Park for 14 years, during which their best finish was fifth in the Premier League in 2011-12.