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Money; IBROX GROUP HAS ITS EYE ON WEMBLEY.

The sports and entertainment group which has a pounds 40million stake in Rangers is on the prowl.

ENIC revealed yesterday it has money in the war-chest and, if the conditions are right, will move to increase its 4.4 per cent shareholding in Wembley stadium.

The group announced a pounds 450,000 loss in the first six months of trading as a listed company - but its bank account is full, with cash reserves of pounds 15.8million.

Chairman Howard Stanton said: "We continue our strategy of enhancing the long- term capital value of the business and are investigating a number of interesting opportunities, particularly in the entertainment sector."

The company announced it was interested in buying Wembley last year, but its approach was rejected.

Since then, Wembley has unveiled plans to sell its famous stadium to the non- profit making English National Stadium Development Company.

But that decision is disputed by three board members at Wembley plc and the future of the business remains uncertain.

ENIC now has a controlling interest in a further four European football clubs, FC Basel, AEK, Slavia Prague and Vicenza.

The group owns 25.1 per cent of the Ibrox club, and its stake is currently valued at pounds 42.3million.

ENIC is also said to be interested in investing in an English Premiership club.

A&L buy back shares

The Alliance & Leicester yesterday announced a share buy-back scheme starting later this year.

The group, whose 1998 pre-tax profits rose 15 per cent to pounds 455.2million, gave no further details, but said it would probably begin in April.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Caven, Bill
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 27, 1999
Words:264
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