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Vatche Manoukian Eyes Everton Takeover with £400M Bid


Vatche Manoukian Eyes Everton Takeover with £400M Bid

The prestigious Premier League club, Everton FC, has attracted a new wave of interest from several high-profile investors, leading to a potential change in ownership. A recent bid of £400 million in all-equity, led by London-based businessman Vatche Manoukian, has intensified the race to own the club, according to The Athletic.


Vatche Manoukian, nephew of an Armenian entertainment and property magnate, partners with global technology investment firm IMS Digital Ventures. His consortium includes investors from the Gulf and the United States, marking a significant international interest in acquiring Everton. Currently, Farhad Moshiri, the club's owner, has received three solid bids, with additional parties showing keen interest if conditions align favorably. Everton has chosen not to comment on this latest bid.


Leading Contenders and Fan Favorites


Among the leading contenders are British businessmen Andy Bell and George Downing, who enjoy strong support from Everton fans. They are part of a consortium led by the U.S. investment firm MSP Sports Capital, which previously loaned Everton £158 million. This group aims to protect their existing investment by submitting a bid combining new equity and a £350 million loan. The loan, secured against Everton’s new stadium, would help refinance the club's existing debts and is to be provided by BDT & MSD Partners, a merchant bank initially established to manage the wealth of American IT billionaire Michael Dell. Despite his financial involvement, Dell has no intention of owning Everton or any other English football club to avoid conflicts of interest with his investment firm's lending business.

Vatche Manoukian Eyes Everton Takeover with £400M Bid

The Complicated Bids and Other Interested Parties


Interestingly, MSP Sports Capital has made a separate bid for Everton, forming a new group to take full control of the club. This bid involves a complex combination of equity and debt, adding another layer to the evolving ownership saga.


Other notable figures in the mix include American businessmen John Textor and Dan Friedkin. Textor, who owns stakes in Crystal Palace, Belgian team RWD Molenbeek, Brazil’s Botafogo, and French side Lyon, can only pursue Everton if he offloads his 45% stake in Crystal Palace. Friedkin, who owns Italy’s AS Roma and French side AS Cannes, has held initial talks with Moshiri but has yet to place a formal bid.


The Expired Exclusivity and Financial Turmoil


The urgency in this ownership race increased two weeks ago when Moshiri's exclusivity period with Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners expired. During the nine-month negotiation, 777 Partners loaned Everton almost £200 million to cover running costs and continue the construction of the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. However, they failed to meet the Premier League's takeover conditions, notably settling MSP’s £158 million loan.


Everton’s total debt now stands at nearly £1 billion, with £450 million of that as unsecured shareholder loans from Moshiri. These loans will likely need to be significantly reduced or written off for any new owner to take over the club. Meanwhile, 777 Partners faces its own financial challenges, with its main backer, U.S. insurance group A-Cap, now overseeing the situation.


The Role of A-Cap and the Path Forward


Despite rumors, A-Cap has no plans to pursue Everton directly but remains interested in the debt owed by 777 Partners. The most probable scenario is that A-Cap will extend the loan period and defer interest payments, making them a crucial part of Everton’s future financial landscape.

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