L’Équipe report today that Norodom Ravichak, the Cambodian prince looking to buy Saint-Étienne, has yet to be given the green light to access the club’s “Data Room”, unlike two other bidders.
The Anglo-Dutch consultancy firm KPMG, which Les Verts have mandated for the takeover process, was as of Friday night yet to give Ravichak access to the virtual room, which holds the club’s last three years of balance sheets. This also includes a comprehensive breakdown of the club’s assets and fiscal health, which would allow prospective new owners to get a full grasp of the state of the club before going through with their bid.
Although this delay has not shut the door completely for the Cambodian and his Chinese business partners, it does appear to reveal that KPMG do not consider the offer to be as sound as hoped. The firm will now continue to go through the documents provided thus far and wait for more garanties to come in from the project.
Ravichak, in an interview with RFI, had stated that he had hoped for the bidding process to move forward soon, and that his goal was “to take care of Saint-Étienne and those who work so that the club can return to its rightful position in French and European football”.
ASSE co-owners and presidents Bernard Caïazzo and Roland Romeyer are hoping to sell the club by the end of the calendar year, with two bidders now at the Data Room stage – French businessman Olivier Markarian and American investment fund Terrapin Partners.