IPO head announces the latest updates on Persepolis & Esteghlal privatization

According to the public relations department of the Iranian Privatization Organization (IPO), in an interview with IRINN regarding the latest status of the privatization of Esteghlal and Persepolis football clubs, Dr. Alireza Saleh said: "the intention for offering the shares of the two clubs exists and the first instruction of the (Iranian) president to the Economy Minister in the (Iranian) year 1399 was to accelerate the transfer of all state-owned enterprises."

About the mechanism of privatization of the two clubs, The director-general of IPO clarified: "In the first phase of the measures that are being taken, the statutes of the two companies will be updated according to the formats of the Securities and Exchange Organization. The way these measures will be done depends on the cooperation of the managers of the two clubs and the Ministry of Sports, and the Ministry is fully committed to doing so."

Saleh pointed out: "So far, the pricing of Persepolis club has been determined and this club has even given us its three-year plan. The club's managers were looking to present a 5-year plan, but we did not allow it, and we will make it enter the stock market with a 3-year plan. We are not going to hand over the clubs all at once; the statutes will be changed first, the financial statements will have to be provided, and then the work will have to go ahead through holding extraordinary meetings."

Regarding the heavy debts of Esteghlal and Persepolis, the director-general of the Privatization Organization said: "These two companies are subject to Article 141, but if their shares are offered in the stock exchange, they will exit bankruptcy. Besides, the shares of the clubs on the stock exchange are not going to be sold all at once, and initially, only 5% will be offered for price discovery and 5% as floating stocks so that there won't be a bubble."

"We will certainly give the fans of the two clubs a role in the privatization process," he said.

"Any company that wants to go public must give a three-year business plan, and if they can't realize it, there will be complications in the stock exchange, because people decide to participate in the market based on the plans of the companies. If a company does not follow the rules of the stock market and moves inconsistent with its plan, it will face complications. Persepolis Club has signed its 3-year contracts and work is underway at Esteghlal Club. Until these things are done, we will definitely not go ahead with the offering process.

In conclusion, Saleh stressed: "Another important issue is to determine the dealings of the two clubs with the (Iranian football) federation, the Ministry of Sports and the Champions and Veterans Fund, and they will not enter the stock market at all until these dealings are clarified. The divestiture board recently approved the transfer of these clubs through the stock exchange, and we want to do so by Shahrivar (September).


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