Everton Takeover: London-based Businessman Leads £400m Bid for Premier League Club

A London-based businessman, Vatche Manoukian, has spearheaded a group of international investors in a £400 million bid for Everton Football Club. The bid, which is all-equity, has added to the growing list of potential new owners vying for the Premier League club.

The interest from Manoukian and his group, which includes investors from the Gulf and United States, now puts current owner Farhad Moshiri in a position with three firm bids on the table. With at least two other interested parties waiting in the wings for the right price and timing, the future ownership of Everton remains uncertain.

The frontrunners in terms of fan sentiment are British businessmen Andy Bell and George Downing, who are already part of a group led by US investment firm MSP Sports Capital. Their bid, a combination of fresh equity and a £350 million loan secured on the club’s new stadium, seeks to refinance Everton’s existing debts.

In addition to Bell and Downing’s bid, there are other contenders such as John Textor and Dan Friedkin, American businessmen with multi-club ownership experience. Textor, who holds a stake in Crystal Palace, has shown interest in Everton pending the sale of his current shares. Friedkin, the owner of AS Roma and AS Cannes, has engaged in preliminary talks with Moshiri but has not submitted a formal bid.

The recent developments in the Everton takeover saga were triggered by the expiry of the exclusivity period with Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners. The failed takeover by 777, which resulted in almost £200 million in loans to Everton, has left the club with a significant debt burden. With total debt nearing £1 billion, a new owner would need to address Moshiri’s unsecured shareholder loans to take control of the club.

As the future ownership of Everton hangs in the balance, interested parties are gearing up for negotiations with Moshiri in the coming days. The outcome of these discussions will determine the next chapter in Everton’s history as the club prepares to move into their new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock.