The new owners who bought out Alan Sugar
in 2001 were the English National Investment Company ...
or ENIC for short.
Here is some of the history of their time at Tottenham Hotspur.
|Article in the Sunday Times -
Business Focus on 02.03.2003
"While speculation surrounds the possibility of Dermot Desmond, the Irish tycoon, making a bid for (Manchester) United, family interests of his friend, billionaire investor Joe Lewis, are rumoured to be behind moves to take another football-related company private.
While Desmond is the single biggest investor in the Scottish club Celtic and has recently taken a stake in United, Lewis' son Charlie is the main shareholder in ENIC, the investment firm with stakes in several football clubs, including Celtic's great rivals Rangers, FC Basel of Switzerland, Vicenza in Italy and, most notably, North London club Tottenham Hotspur, where it owns 29.9%.
Last week, ENIC announced it had received a takeover approach, widely believed to have come from Charlie Lewis and ENIC boss Daniel Levy, who between them own 52%. The City would certainly not shed any tears over the prospect of the company taking itself private, apart from any investors who did not book profits when ENIC shares peaked at 382p. They hit 24.5p last month before news of the bid approach.
ENIC's biggest achievement was making £60m from the sale of shares in the IT company Autonomy, of which it was an early backer. It also has a cash pile of £22m. But it misses have been more frequent.
When ENIC was launched, betting on football seemed like a good idea. But the strategy of taking stakes in several clubs was stopped by UEFA. The governing body of European football was concerned that organisations owning more than one team and playing matches in the same competition could fix matches. There is no suggestion that ENIC tried this.
Its other investments have included a casino in Las Vegas - hit by the collapse in tourism after September 11 - and the Warner Bros Studio Stores in England, which it sold to management."
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