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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Everton provide takeover update after agreement with Friedkin family

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Football

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The Friedkin family have agreed an exclusivity deal to buy Everton from Farhad Moshiri and are likely to become the club’s new owners.

The American billionaires, who also own Roma, are now in pole position to buy out Moshiri’s 94.1 per cent stake in the Merseyside club, though a deal has not been finalised as the Friedkins start a process of due diligence.

Dan Friedkin, who is worth $6bn, has a variety of business interests including car sales and film studios. Since he bought Roma in 2020, the Italian club have reached the Europa League final and won the Conference League.

A club statement read: “Everton Football Club would like to provide fans and stakeholders with an update regarding new investment into the Club.

“Blue Heaven Holdings has received significant interest from several highly respected parties interested in investing in the Club. The Club can confirm today (21 June) that a period of exclusivity has been granted to The Friedkin Group to progress discussions to acquire a majority shareholding in Everton.

“All parties will now work together to conclude this process. In the meantime, the Club will continue to operate as normal. When there is further news to share, it will be provided via the Club’s official communication channels.”

The Friedkins entered the bidding for Everton after the collapse of 777 Partners’ deal, which had been agreed with Moshiri in September. The crisis-hit Miami-based firm faced a number of lawsuits and were accused of fraud amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars in a civil suit in a New York court.

Moshiri opted for the Americans ahead of one consortium involving the Merseyside businessmen Andy Bell and George Downing, another built around MSP Sports Capital and a group of investors led by Vanuche Manoukian, who had submitted a £400m bid.

Everton currently owe around £600m, debt largely incurred building their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, with £160m owed to MSP, Bell and Downing and around £225m to Rights and Media Funding. 777 also loaned them £200m but A-Cap now represent that interest. In addition, Moshiri is owed £450m in shareholder loans. It is not yet clear if he will recoup much of that.

However, after a season when Everton were given two points deductions for failing Financial Fair Play in consecutive years and when 777’s troubles raised the spectre of administration, it points to a potentially better future for the nine-time champions of England.

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