Prospective buyers sent figures

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Football News

Seven potential buyers have been sent details of Newcastle's finances as moves to sell the club progress.

It is understood the prospective owners have each been provided with a prospectus of sale by bankers Seymour Pierce, who are acting on behalf of current incumbent Mike Ashley.

All seven have been required to sign a confidentiality agreement covering the sensitive information included in the document.

The move came as speculation over the parties interested in taking the club off billionaire Ashley's hands mounted on Tyneside.

A report in the city's Evening Chronicle on Wednesday claimed that a South African group would offer Kevin Keegan a stake of up to 10% in the club if he returned as manager.

They and the Nigerian consortium which claims to be in the process of tabling a £200million offer, have emerged as two of the contenders.

Both groups are made up of as yet unnamed businessmen, but the rumour mill in South Africa in particular has gone into overdrive in recent days.

Representatives of billionaire Johann Rupert, the man behind Swiss-owned luxury goods company Richemont, and multi-millionaire Vivian Imerman, a former owner of Del Monte who has since bought into Scottish Whisky producer Whyte and Mackay, have denied any interest.

There was no comment from investment holding firm Bidvest over links with its founder, Brian Joffe, a man with a reputation for taking over failing companies and reviving them.

That is an ability attributed to the South African consortium currently looking at Newcastle.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Kevin Keegan

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