Goals Soccer Centres bought by Canadian pension fund

football in a goal net.
Image caption Goals has 43 outdoor centres in the UK and one in the US

The board of Goals Soccer Centres has accepted a £73.1m bid from one of Canada's biggest pension funds.

The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan will pay 144p per share for East Kilbride-based Goals, which runs five-a-side football centres across the UK.

The offer represents a 6.7% premium on Goals' closing share price on Thursday.

Earlier this month, private equity firm Patron Capital Partners, which owns Goals' rival Powerleague, said it was also mulling a bid.

The deal with the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan - known simply as Teachers' - is subject to approval by Goals' shareholders.

Patron said it was "considering its options" and urged Goals' shareholders to "take no action".

Goals, which employs about 800 people, made a pre-tax profit of £9.2m in 2011.

It currently operates 43 outdoor centres in the UK and one in the US.

Goals Soccer Centres

Last Updated at 23 Mar 2018, 14:29 GMT *Chart shows local time Goals Soccer Centres intraday chart
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Its share price rose 9.6% on Friday following the announcement to 147.5p.


Teachers' runs the pension fund for some 300,000 Canadian teachers.

It is acquiring Goals through its private equity arm Teachers' Private Capital (TPC).

"We believe that this will be a win-win for investors, employees and the thousands of players who enjoy using Goals' facilities each week," said Jo Taylor, TPC vice president.

Teachers' already owns Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which is the holding company for a number of Canadian sports teams.

The Canadian fund already has a wide range of investments in the UK. In 2010 it bought National Lottery operator Camelot, while it also holds large stakes in Birmingham and Bristol airports.

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