Consortium with Saudi royal makes £400m Everton bid

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A consortium of international investors, including a member of the Saudi royal family, has made a £400 million offer to buy Premier League club Everton.

In September, Farhad Moshiri agreed to sell his 94% stake to 777 Partners, but the investment firm failed to complete the deal, leaving room for other bids.

Local businessmen Andy Bell and George Downing, along with MSP Sports Capital—who have loaned the Toffees around £158 million—are also contenders for a period of exclusivity after submitting their bids.

The bid is led by London-based businessman and lawyer Vatche Manoukian, alongside an unnamed Saudi royal and high-net-worth families from the United States.

Manoukian and his consortium have put forward an all-equity offer, which would avoid additional debt and aim to establish a sustainable, long-term strategy. They view Everton as a “sleeping giant” of English football with the potential to regain a top position in world football, especially with the new stadium being built at Bramley-Moore Dock.

Manoukian, 45, is a partner at tech investment firm IMS Digital Ventures and has the backing of Australia’s Myer family. Other interested parties include Roma owner Dan Friedkin, Michael Dell of Dell Technologies, and Kenneth King of investment firm A-Cap.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, completed a £305 million takeover of Newcastle in October 2021.

Fan board wants ‘open and transparent’ communication

Everton’s fan advisory board (FAB) has sent an open letter, to prospective buyers of the club, calling for “open, transparent and regular engagement” with supporters.

Following the protracted takeover attempt by 777 and seeing the sales and purchase agreement end on 31 May, the FAB is hoping any future process is concluded in a “much shorter timeframe”.

The group added in a statement: “Now is the time for us to look forward and turn our attention to the parties who are in the process of bidding for our club.

“As one of the greatest sporting institutions in club football, we hope any new ownership will nurture, invest and most importantly acknowledge that their role as the steward of Everton FC is to run the club in partnership with its supporters in a way that recognises its heritage, sustainability, creativity and commercial potential.”