Comer brothers still in talks to buy Aston Villa


Property developers Luke and Brian Comer confirmed yesterday that their consortium is still in negotiations to complete a £64 million (€93 million) takeover of English football club, Aston Villa.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, the millionaire brothers said discussions between their takeover vehicle, Avil, and Aston Villa's advisers were ongoing. "Due diligence is progressing and Avil is focused on settling its financing arrangements," the statement read.

It continued: "Avil also wishes to make it clear that it is committed to concluding a transaction on terms acceptable to the major shareholders of Aston Villa and to enable the club to prosper in the future."

The Galway-born Comer brothers were first linked with Aston Villa in October, and are understood to be the driving force behind a five- or six-strong consortium seeking to take over the Premiership club. Minmet chairman, Mike Neville, is also involved in Avil and is expected to take on the day-to-day running of Aston Villa if a bid is successful.

Avil has tabled a bid of 560p per share for Birmingham-based Villa. Shares in the club rose by 5p to 475p in London yesterday.

Villa chairman Doug Ellis and major shareholder Jack Petchey between them own 58 per cent of the club.

Both in their forties, the Comers became wealthy after emigrating to London to work as plasterers, specialising in converting run-down properties. Their Comer Homes Group has assets of £1 billion.

Luke Comer is also well known as a horse trainer and breeder, having trained horses for Lady Chryss Goulandris, wife of Sir Anthony O'Reilly.