Daily Management Review

Riyadh to buy Newcastle United


The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) is negotiating with British businessman Mike Ashley to buy the Newcastle United football club in the British Premier League, sources close to discussing the deal told The Wall Street Journal.

PIF, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's key investment tool, may buy Newcastle in a consortium with other investors, including British financier Amanda Staveley. It is assumed that Staveley will buy 10% of the club at the expense of the family fund, another 10% will be bought by a group of investors led by brothers David and Simon Rubin, the rest will be transferred to the Saudis, informed WSJ interlocutors say.

Discussing the amount of 340 million pounds ($ 445 million), Ashley bought the club in 2007 for 134 million pounds. The deal may be concluded in a few days or weeks, but it may not take place, say the interlocutors of the publication.

Newcastle United emerged in 1892 as a result of the merger of the two city teams. It won the Championship of England four times, six times - the FA Cup. This season, it is still in 14th place out of 20.

Ashley announced plans to sell the club as early as 2008.

In 2008, Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment bought Manchester City Football Club from former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The deal was valued at 200 million pounds ($ 360 million at the then exchange rate), taking into account the debt.

source: wsj.com