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Investment consortium in talks for Newcastle United: BBC
Posted on Wednesday, 05 December 2018 11:55
A consortium of investors led by Peter Kenyon, the former chief executive of Manchester United and Chelsea, has entered discussions over a potential acquisition of premier league club Newcastle United, according to the BBC.

The broadcaster noted that current owner Mike Ashley, who has been under fire from the team’s supporters for a number of years, said in an interview that negotiations are underway with a prospective suitor and are at a more advanced stage than ever before.

However, the BBC stopped short of identifying its sources, saying only that Kenyon’s consortium, which also includes Rockefeller Capital Management, is believed to be the potential buyer, although it added that other parties are also said to be interested.

It did state that it is not yet clear whether a firm bid has been put on the table and cautioned that delays to any sale process could occur due to Richard Scudamore’s upcoming departure as executive chairman of the Premier League later this month and the approaching Christmas period.

The league would need to conduct regulatory checks on any change of ownership to one of its clubs.

A separate report by the Guardian said Ashley is mulling over four approaches worth in excess of GBP 300.00 million from foreign suitors.

The retail magnate, also known as the owner of Sports Direct, bought into Newcastle United with the purchase of a 41.6 per cent stake in May 2007 and subsequently picked up the balance of the business for GBP 78.51 million in July of that year.

Since then, he has presided over a turbulent period at the club, historically one of the UK’s best-known.

After initially proving popular with fans, subsequent conflicts with managers like club legend Kevin Keegan and two relegations from the top tier of English football have seen him fall out of favour and the subject of regular protests by supporters.

The club, nicknamed the Magpies, have endured a difficult season in the league thus far this year and currently stand 14th overall, having gained just 12 points from a possible 42.

There were previously reports of a sale back in July 2012, when the Kuwait Times reported that Arabi Club chairman Jamal Al-Kazemi was considering a bid for the business.

In February 2014, the UK’s Metro newspaper stated that World Wrestling Entertainment owner Vince McMahon was interested in the business, but no deal ever materialised.

Ashley officially put the business on the block in October of last year.

© Zephus Ltd