Latest Big Bath City Bid update

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Latest Big Bath City Bid update

Post by OliverH on Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:25 pm

Hello -

The latest update has now been emailed to pledgers and posted on http://www.bigbathcitybid.org.uk/news

If you'd like to receive updates by email, please let us know at info@bigbathcitybid.org.uk

I've copied and pasted the key item below.

Thanks
Oliver

Update on the Community Share Offer

A number of pledgers have been in touch to ask us when the Bid will reopen to new pledges, at what point community shares might be issued.

Two important points:

1. The original agreement between the Bid group and the club to set a target of £750,000 for conversion to community ownership was time-bound and expired at the end of the original share offer period.

2. The original prospectus, which was based on that time-bound agreement and on a business plan starting in 2015, is also now out-of-date.

This means that, in order to reopen the Bid, we will need to present pledgers with a new prospectus, and pledgers will need to give their express consent before community shares can be issued.

This new prospectus will have to receive the Community Shares Standard Mark from the Community Shares Unit in order to remain eligible for Microgenius, so some more work needs to be done in this in the next few weeks.

We are currently seeking advice on how we may best reopen the Bid under a new prospectus that works best for the stage we are now at.

We would like to thank you again for your patience and continued support of the community ownership project for Bath City FC. We expect to be able to provide details of a new approach and prospectus within 2-3 weeks. We have also been in touch with other individuals willing to contribute further to significantly boost the money raised.

[see the website for further updates]
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OliverH

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Re: Latest Big Bath City Bid update

Post by OliverH on Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:54 pm

The above is the official statement of the Bid, this post is my own commentary.

I attended a community shares conference last week and spoke to experts who seemed reasonably confident that we could figure out a way to create a new, slimmed-down prospectus that would allow us to issue community shares soon. These were just informal conversations, but the initial signs look reasonably good.

The issue the Bid has faced post-September is, how can we create a new prospectus when there is now uncertainty over the path to conversion and the future, post-redevelopment business plan (assuming the redevelopment goes ahead: planning permission etc).

You may recall that Plan B was to hire a fundraiser to get us to £600K through matching funds and then reopen in Feb. We got and still have a significant commitment towards this (not sure if I can say how much), but not up to £600K. And of course, the Christmas announcement that the Board would pursue redevelopment as a means of clearing debt before converting the club to community ownership changed the landscape.

As we said at the time, we regard that commitment as incredibly positive. It will be a bumpy road, but if all goes more or less to plan, supporters could be inheriting a debt-free community-owned club in the coming years. I am personally confident that this will happen, and that's why I'm investing time in efforts like 1000BC, going to community shares conferences and researching the future structure/constitution of a community-owned club. Lots of others are as well, through the community group, commercial group etc - and if you want to be involved in the running of a future community-owned club, now is the time to come forward so that we can all hit the ground running.

Where we need to create a Plan C, however, is with the community share offer itself. Supporters and the people of Bath have so far put £300K of "money where their mouths are" in support of community ownership. Those pledges are a strong signal to everyone involved - the club, the people of Bath, potential private funders, social lenders and grant-giving bodies - that there is real will to achieve this.

We really don't want to sit back and let those pledges expire. So we are looking for a way - a new prospectus - that will allow pledgers to keep their money committed to the project and give us momentum to push on.
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Re: Latest Big Bath City Bid update

Post by Peter Newman on Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:43 am

My understanding of Oliver's postings is that initial pledges are now linked to a prospectus that is (or will be regarded) as invalid and will need to be renewed against a revised version.

I (and others) have made an actual payment and assume  the cash is  sitting in an account somewhere. I have not asked for the return of  my investment and doubt many others have requested repayment. The problem would now seem that since these payments are being held against an invalid prospectus  will they need to be returned, therefore to the contributors?  If this is the case then,  presumably, any interest accrued  will need to be assigned as well.

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Re: Latest Big Bath City Bid update

Post by OliverH on Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:18 am

Yes the cash is still being held securely in a building society account, and as you say few have requested repayment, although they have been entitled to do so since September.

The new prospectus will be presented to all investors/pledgers and everyone will be able to decide whether to withdraw funds/cancel pledges or to remain committed and receive community shares.
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