Canadian Raider Scores Goals In Takeover

A giant Canadian pension fund has enlisted Australian and US backing to seal an injury-time takeover of Goals Soccer Centres, the five-a-side football venue operator.

I understand that the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has lined up debt financing from Macquarie, the Australian banking group, and GE, the American conglomerate, to buy Goals.

A deal has been agreed in principle with the Goals board and could be announced as soon as tomorrow, I'm told, although it could still be delayed.

Goals has been the subject of a takeover tussle between Ontario Teachers and Patron Capital, the owner of the rival Powerleague venues, for several weeks.

Patron could yet return with an attempt to trump the Canadian bid, although people close to Goals regard that as unlikely.

Ontario had been set a deadline of Monday to make a firm offer for Goals or walk away. Goals declined to comment.