Forest auction hots up


THE auction for Nottingham Forest gathered pace yesterday as Albert Scardino, the American journalist, lodged an £18.2 million takeover offer backed by two of the most influential finance houses in the City.

Mr Scardino, husband of Marjorie, the new chief executive of the Pearson media empire, is fronting a consortium funded by Mercury Asset Management and Electra Investments which will offer Forest's 203 shareholders a 10 per cent stake.

The offer will also include assuming nearly £8 million of debt, Scardino said last night.

Shareholders will now vote at a meeting on February 24th whether to accept the Scardino bid or take proposals tabled two weeks ago from a consortium led by the property developer Nigel Wray. He offered up to £15 million in cash and expects to float the club on the stock market within six months.