martes, noviembre 28, 2023

Newcastle takeover: Mike Ashley in advanced talks with PCP Capital Partners to sell club

PCP Capital Partners are in advanced talks with Mike Ashley to end his 13-year tenure as owner of Newcastle United, according to sources directly involved in the takeover.

This follows significant Companies House legal documentation that emerged on Tuesday morning, proving legal framework for a deal was being put in place by the two parties.

Sky Sports News reported in January Amanda Staveley’s PCP Partners and the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) were in talks to buy Newcastle. It is unclear as to why there is no mention of PIF in any of the Companies House documentation.

Supplementary documentation has led to claims Ashley is lending PCP money to help complete the deal. It has always been the case Ashley was willing to structure payments in a bid to reach a sale. The sale will be a cash deal, however that transaction will only take place once the Premier League has ratified the deal.

Price agreed is closer to £300m

The price agreed by Ashley is closer to £300m, rather than the original asking price of around £340m and it is thought the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the value of the club.

The Saudi fund (PIF), controlled by Prince Mohammed bin Salman will hold 80 per cent of the club shares, while Amanda Staveley will hold 10 per cent of the shares and it is expected that she will play a key role in the running of the club.

The final 10 per cent will be controlled by billionaire brothers, David and Simon Reuben. They have significant property interests in the Newcastle area – including owning the city’s racecourse.

If the Premier League ratify the deal, the prospective buyers are understood to have earmarked significant investment into the club.

Talks have been under way with the Saudi wealth fund for the past 12 months, with the deal being codenamed Project Zebra – reflecting the famous Newcastle kit.

Sky Sports News has contacted Newcastle for comment.

It is believed Ashley is presently at his Florida home in Miami, while Staveley is believed to be at her central London home.

Staveley had failed with a bid to buy the club in 2017, following lengthy negotiations.

Ashley has been in control at St James’ Park since purchasing a majority stake in the club in 2007. Newcastle have been twice relegated from the Premier League during Ashley’s reign, with supporters protesting on numerous occasions against his ownership.

The purchase would be a major coup – and the biggest move yet – for Saudi Arabia as it focuses on sports and entertainment. They recently hosted Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz’s heavyweight world title fight in the Diriyah Arena and have also announced plans for a new F1 racetrack that will host a Grand Prix in 2023.