Walt Disney in sensational Derby takeover talks

The Walt Disney family are sensationally in takeover talks with Derby County.

The Daily Mail says Derby chairman Adam Pearson has been in America this week negotiating a deal for a consortium of financial institutions headed by the Shamrock hedge fund to take a controlling shareholding in Pride Park with a view to full ownership.

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Shamrock Holdings are owned and run by billionaire Roy Disney, the nephew of Walt, and regarded as the protector of the Disney legacy.

After 50 years in the film business, he currently serves as consultant to the Disney organisation, where he holds the title of director emeritus to the board.

Roy E Disney, 77, is still the third largest individual stakeholder in Disney, owning 16million shares and is best known for orchestrating the sacking of chief executive Michael Eisner in 2005.

He uses Shamrock as his personal investment vehicle and the company, founded in 1978, have diverse global interests in telecommunications, hotels, radio and TV stations as well as real estate and private equity dealings.

If the deal goes ahead Derby would become the fourth Premier League club, after Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa, to come under American ownership.

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