Some very big claims have arrived on the takeover front in an exclusive from the Mail’s Craig Hope, with it being revealed that a second Middle East investor has now joined Amanda Staveley in the chase to buy Newcastle United from Mike Ashley.
This comes from one of the better NUFC journalists in Craig Hope, who states that Blackbridge Cross Borders could lodge a formal offer to Ashley and his lawyers on behalf of the Dubai investors.
Crucially, the story reveals that the investors ‘have the means’ to meet Mike Ashley’s £350m asking price – suggesting Amanda Staveley and PCP Capital Partners have serious competition for the takeover of NUFC.
It does however state that both parties remain cautious given the obvious fear of relegation, so it seems as though any formal offer may have to wait until our Premier League status is looking a little clearer.
As always, we must put on our cynical hats and wonder if this is all a smokescreen to distract from January buying or an attempt to push Staveley to up our bid, but as we’ve said, this is reported by one of the more reliable sources in the North-East in Craig Hope.
Exclusive: A second Middle East investor is looking to make an offer for NUFC. Full details here https://t.co/30WtpXglCj
— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) January 11, 2018
Here’s the story in full from the Mail:
“A second Middle East investor is looking to make an offer for Newcastle United.
“The group — based in Dubai — have been monitoring the situation at St James’ Park in recent weeks and analysing the club’s accounts, but only those details which are in the public domain.
“No formal bid has been made and they have not entered a period of extensive due diligence, but it is claimed they have the means to meet owner Mike Ashley’s asking price, which is around £350million.
“However, like Amanda Staveley and her Middle East investment fund PCP Capital Partners, they are said to be cautious given the team’s position in the Premier League and it is unlikely any formal approach would be made until the club’s top-flight status is certain. Rafa Benitez’s side are two points clear of the bottom three in 13th place.
“There is also concern over the HMRC investigation into the club’s alleged tax fraud. British-based investment company Blackbridge Cross Borders have been lined up to facilitate a potential offer and they have made contact with Ashley’s lawyers.
“Sources have indicated that the Dubai investors are not concerned about financier Staveley completing a deal as they believe no sale will go through until the team is out of relegation danger.
“Staveley has taken her offer to £300m but no agreement with Ashley has been reached and there is a stand-off over price and the terms of the deal in the event of relegation. Talks will continue now Ashley is back from a holiday in Miami.”
Time will tell. Ashley is now back in the UK so let’s hope to see progress on that front in the coming days.
For now though, it’s time to focus on a win against Swansea on Saturday and hopefully one or two useful new signings. Any takeover looks unlikely to be concluded until our Premier League status is secured if you ask me.