Peter Kenyon Heading Consortium To Purchase Newcastle United
Former ManU and Chelsea Dir Peter Kenyon is "heading the consortium that is in advanced talks" to buy Newcastle United but "time is running out" for a deal to be completed before the start of the transfer window, according to George Caulkin of the LONDON TIMES. Sources said that Kenyon and his investors are the party that Newcastle Owner Mike Ashley was referring to when he used a TV interview on Monday to say that talks to sell the club "are at a more progressed stage than they have ever been." Kenyon, who served as CEO at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge and has more recently been advising Middlesbrough, has been attempting to raise funds in the U.S. It is understood that he has "now been granted access to Newcastle's detailed accounts." Ashley confirmed to Sky News that "no potential buyer had been given exclusivity on any deal and a single billionaire investor had also been in discussions with Newcastle" (LONDON TIMES, 12/5). In London, Luke Edwards reported a price has been "broadly agreed" to and the investors are thought to be "on the verge of making a firm bid." A series of meetings on both sides of the Atlantic over the course of the next few days "will determine whether a formal offer is submitted" and, if the terms are agreeable to Ashley, Kenyon is expected to be installed as CEO. Sources said that Kenyon's group was already given "access to the data room" which contains a detailed breakdown of the club's finances and projected incomes ahead of a proposed takeover. This is seen as a "crucial step forward" and has not been granted before. An unnamed billionaire has also verbally agreed to a price with Ashley of around £300M ($382M) and told him they are "willing to pay the amount in one lump sum." Given the "vast resources" at the billionaire's disposal, the asking price is "not going to be a problem," but they are not at such an advanced stage in the negotiations and were "unimpressed" by Ashley saying on Monday that "advanced" takeover talks were taking place (TELEGRAPH, 12/4).
AMERICAN TIES: The BBC's Richard Conway reported Kenyon is understood to be working with American financial advisory firm Rockefeller Capital Management. Premier League checks and processes when clubs change hands "take around 14 days to complete." The Christmas break and Richard Scudamore's departure as exec chair of the league later this month could also be "complicating factors" regarding that timeframe. Those regulatory checks can only take place after "extensive due diligence." That makes a December purchase date optimistic -- even if a deal was to be agreed to in the coming days (BBC, 12/5). The PA reported Ashley is considering four bids in excess of £300M for Newcastle United. It is understood there are "at least four interested parties," all of them based overseas, which have tabled offers (PA, 12/5).