Everton owner Farhad Moshiri in talks to sell club to US businessman

Farhad Moshiri is in advanced talks to sell Everton Football Club for around £400mn to a little-known US businessman, in what would be the latest American takeover of an English Premier League club.

Talks between Moshiri and Maciek Kaminski, a Minnesota-based investor, have progressed in recent days, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. Any deal would still need approval from the Premier League, one of these people said.

However, the people cautioned that there is no certainty of a deal. Talks had been complicated by the recent financial market instability in the UK, they added. The final sum also depends on financing for Everton’s planned new stadium in its home city.

A successful sale would mean that half of the Premier League’s 20 clubs would have US shareholders. Earlier this year a US investor group led by Todd Boehly agreed to buy London-based Chelsea Football Club for £2.5bn, after its Russian oligarch owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK and the EU.

Kaminski was previously bidding with former Chelsea and Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon, investment banker Michael Klein and John Thornton, chair of US miner Barrick Gold. However, Kaminski is no longer working with the trio after a split, two of the people said.

Kaminski, a former manager of funds directed at investments in Poland, built his wealth by acquiring office properties in Minneapolis, the largest city in the US Midwestern state of Minnesota.

According to local media reports, Kaminski emigrated to the United States from Poland in the late 1960s, then was an investment adviser at brokerages Paine Weber and Piper Jaffray before entering real estate investments.

A website for the Kaminski family’s KAM Sports vehicle says that it was set up to “own and manage premier international sports assets”. Talks with Moshiri earlier this year faltered and stalled beyond an exclusivity period. In July, KAM said it remained interested in acquiring the club.

Moshiri first invested in Everton in 2016 and took a majority stake two years later, using the proceeds he received from selling his minority stake in Arsenal to his longtime business associate Alisher Usmanov. Uzbek-born metals billionaire Usmanov later launched an unsuccessful attempt to take control of Arsenal.

Ties between the two remained. Everton was forced to search for fresh financing earlier this year after a number of sponsorship deals with Usmanov’s companies were suspended. Usmanov was sanctioned by the UK, the EU and the US following Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Moshiri, who owns Everton through an Isle of Man entity, had been seeking new investment to help fund the club’s £500mn new stadium, which fuelled speculation that a takeover might also be on the cards.

However, Moshiri issued a public statement in the summer promising Everton fans the club was not about to change hands.

“It will always be pragmatic to explore all potential investment opportunities”, he said in July. “But I want to reassure all of you that Everton Football Club is not for sale.”

Representatives for Moshiri and Kaminski declined to comment.

Everton made a net loss of £120.9mn in the 2020/21 season, following net losses of nearly £140mn and £111mn in the previous two financial years. The club is one of the founding members of the Premier League, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Led by manager Frank Lampard, the former Chelsea player, Everton narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League last year, finishing two places above and four points clear of Burnley, one of three teams demoted to the Championship.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button