Barclays Premier League club Blackburn Rovers has been taken over by Indian company Venky's for £23m.
Former Blackburn owner late Jack Walker had entrusted the club to a trust. This trust has sold 99.9% of its holdings to Venky's London Limited. Trust chairman Paul Egerton-Vernon said: We're very pleased to be passing on the Rovers to the Rao family.
We have been impressed with their enthusiasm and their plans and ideas for investment as well as their wish to preserve the legacy of Jack Walker.
Venky's Chairperson Anuradha J. Desai said in a statement, We are delighted, proud and humbled to be associated with Blackburn Rovers, a team with whom we share many values and ambitions.
Going forward we plan to focus on leveraging the global influence in establishing Blackburn Rovers as a truly global brand. We will absolutely respect the Jack Walker legacy and will be actively supporting the organisation to ensure that Blackburn Rovers remains one of the best run clubs within the Premier League.
We are particularly pleased that the deal has the full support of the Walker Trust, the chairman and the management team, who will of course remain in place with our full support. Blackburn Rovers is an historic institution that has won the Premier League and we want the fans to embrace us so that we are able to do our best in the interests of the club.
Pune-based poultry firm Venky's are the first owners from India to take over a Premier League club. The director of the firm, Balaji Rao, spoke about the firm's experience of the Asian markets and how they would help Blackburn exploit the market's potential.
He said the firm intends to exploit our in-depth knowledge of the Indian market in particular, and beyond that, the whole of Asia.
Venkateshwara Rao who is the joint managing director of Veky's said, We are all truly honored to be working with such an historic club and are committed to creating a long-term financial platform which the club can use to realize its obvious potential on and off of the field.
It is as a team that this club has succeeded in the past and it is as a team that this club will achieve great things in the future.
Chairman of Blackburn's board John Williams said, The successful conclusion of the deal is clearly a significant event in the history of the club. It represents the end of the remarkable Walker era, which saw Rovers projected to the top of the football pyramid.
In the ten years since Jack's death the Board and Trustees together have managed to build on Jack's legacy and preside over the club's longest term in the top flight since 1936.
The board will remain focused on what it does - providing important stability, a platform from which the new owners will be able to launch new ideas, particularly in markets outside the UK.
Established in 1976, Venky's was initially producing chicks for the Indian poultry market. It soon ventured into new markets and expanded to over 30 units across India. The company is also into manufacturing nutritional health products, pet food and health-care products. The Forbes magazine ranked Venky's (India) Limited 67th among the 100 best global small companies in the year 1999-2000.