You need to active Javascript on your
BusinessDay
Nigeria's leading finance and market intelligence news report.

Newcastle United £300m potential takeover edges closer

A potential takeover of Premier League club side Newcastle United has taken a step closer after documents show that owner Mike Ashley has entered into agreement with potential buyer.

Financier Amanda Staveley is leading a bid which involves Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and the Reuben Brothers.

The bid is said to be worth about £300m and is being brokered by Amanda Staveley, the Dubai-based financier. It now moves on for approval by the Premier League and is believed to be undergoing the league’s owner’s and director’s test.

The deal is being structured through a vehicle created by Staveley and will see the Riyadh-based Saudi PIF funding 80 per cent of the potential takeover. Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners will put in 20 per cent of the consideration, with 10 per cent of the funds coming from Staveley personally and the remainder from David and Simon Reuben, the British property investors, the Financial Times reports.

The documents include details of a £150m claim related to Staveley’s firm, PCP Capital Partners, and its long-running legal case against Barclays Bank PLC.

The Premier League has also been informed of the potential deal and are understood to have begun the process of carrying out checks under its owners and directors test.

The deal was first reported in January, when it was said to be worth £340m. An investment of £200m in the team’s playing squad and a regeneration of run-down parts of Newcastle were reported to be part of the plan.

The takeover would make Newcastle the second Saudi-owned Premier League club. Sheffield United is owned by Saudi Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who secured full control from local businessman Kevin McCabe last year, bringing to an end current owner Mike Ashley’s 13-year reign at St James’ Park.

Staveley, who is believed to want a 10% stake in Newcastle, first attempted to buy the club in 2018.

Sports finance expert Kieran Maguire told BBC Sport: “These are steps you’d expect to take place in respect of a takeover, it seems that things have accelerated.

“The trouble with Mike Ashley is that until you see the final documents, it’s never completed but the other parties would not waste their time like this unless there had been progress in terms of a takeover.”

 

Anthony Nlebem

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.