Five-a-side firms Goals and Powerleague in merger talks

image source, Goals Soccer Centres

Shares in Goals Soccer Centres jumped after the five-a-side football firm confirmed it was in early-stage talks with rival Powerleague over a possible merger.

In a stock market announcement, Goals said a merger was among "strategic opportunities" currently being assessed by its board.

The firm added that it had "made no decision on any course of action".

By 10:30, shares in East Kilbride-based Goals were up by nearly 6.4%.

The announcement followed a report on Sky News that the two were discussing a possible tie-up.

Goals and Paisley-based Powerleague between them operate about 100 sites, most of which are located in the UK.

Last June, Goals launched a new strategic plan following its first annual loss in 12 years.

It included upgrading 136 pitches as part of a modernisation programme.

Chairman Nick Basing said last month that the business was "on its way to being fit for purpose".

image source, Powerleague

In a statement on Monday, Goals said: "The board of Goals notes the recent press speculation concerning discussions with Powerleague and the possibility of combining the two businesses.

"The preliminary discussions with Powerleague are but one of the strategic opportunities currently being assessed by the Goals board.

"Furthermore, at this stage, no commercial or financial terms have been agreed and no decision on any course of action has been made by the board.

"There is therefore no certainty that any transaction will proceed."

It added: "Notwithstanding the above, the board and the executive are highly focused on delivering the plan announced in June 2016.

"The company will provide a further update in due course when appropriate."

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