Sale of Chelsea FC: Clearlake stake in Blues to be reduced in restructured deal | UK News

The American private equity firm funding the preferred bid to buy Chelsea Football Club will take a reduced stake in the Blues in a restructured deal it expects to close within days.

Sky News found out Clearlake Capital They are expected to own around 60% of Chelsea’s shares when the consortium is at the helm Todd Boehlythe part owner of the LA Dodgers, may enter into a definitive agreement Roman Abramovich and his advisors.

California-based Clearlake was expected to own 66% of the Stamford Bridge Club, with voting rights split equally between him and Mr Boehly’s group.

However, Mr Abramovich’s demand for an additional £500million – made just days before Mr Boehly was selected as the preferred bidder for Chelsea – will see the American and his individual co-investors own much of the extra money, according to one self inject insiders.

Sources said details were still being worked out but that the restructured ownership agreement would likely mean Clearlake owning 60% of Chelsea, with Mr Boehly and others holding the remaining 40% of equity.

News of the revised deal comes amid speculation that the club’s sale was stalled by uncertainty over the fate of a £1.54bn loan.

Sky News announced last Thursday that Mr Abramovich’s advisers at Raine had informed bidders that Mr Abramovich’s loan would no longer be written off for legal reasons related to the sanctions.

However, it is understood that the government will only grant the license needed to go ahead with the sale if the loan is resolved, raising renewed concerns about Chelsea’s ability to operate beyond the expiry of its current license at the end of May.

Clearlake is making progress despite the confusion by aiming to get quick Premier League approval after providing assurances about the identity of its underlying investors.

Todd Boehly is a part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers

The Clearlake-Boehly bid is said to have offered a total price higher than the £4.25 billion publicly pledged by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the chemical magnate who tried to crash the auction late last week.

A director of Ineos, Sir Jim’s chemical company, told Bloomberg News on Wednesday that his offer “was summarily rejected by Raine [the merchant bank handling the sale] but we will keep reminding people that we are still here.”

However, its chances of any meaningful engagement are assessed as extremely slim, as two other bidders are seen as more likely replacements for the Clearlake-funded bid if it fails to sign a deal by the end of this week.

Ineos has not completed any of the due diligence or contracting work undertaken by the other three bidders over a hectic two-month period, while Sir Jim’s claim of being the only UK bidder has drawn mockery as he is leaving the UK intends to live in Monaco for several years.

The final three bidders all presented extensive plans for their management of the club and the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, with numerous property consultants engaged to work on the project.

The preferred bidder for Chelsea is being advised by Goldman Sachs and Robey Warshaw, where former Chancellor – and Chelsea fan – George Osborne now works as a partner.

Sky News revealed over the weekend that if issues surrounding the loan can be resolved, the government is likely to issue two separate licenses: one to carry out the transaction itself and the other to release the proceeds of the sale.

Mr. Abramovich is said to be committed to at least 2.5 billion days the deal closes.

Uncertainty over the club’s ownership is already being blamed for the departure of key players, including Antonio Rudiger, the Germany centre-back.

Through preferred bidder status, the Boehly-Clearlake Group has committed not to sell a majority stake in Chelsea for at least a decade.

That guarantee, considered unprecedented at a football club auction, was coupled with a further minimum investment of £1bn in the stadium, academy and women’s team.

Raine’s demands underscore the unusual nature of the Chelsea sale process at a time when ownership of English football clubs is facing unprecedented scrutiny and government intervention.

Mr Abramovich has owned Chelsea since 2003 and has propelled the club into one of the top sides in Europe, with 19 major trophies won under him.

The two defeated syndicates were led by Boston Celtics shareholder Steve Pagliuca and NBA chairman and Toronto Maple Leafs owner Larry Tanenbaum; and Sir Martin Broughton, the former chairman of British Airways and Liverpool FC, who would have taken a majority stake in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment – owner of a stake in Premier League club Crystal Palace and a number of US sports teams.

A spokesman for the Clearlake-Boehly consortium and Raine declined to comment.

Sale of Chelsea FC: Clearlake stake in Blues to be reduced in restructured deal | UK News

Source link Sale of Chelsea FC: Clearlake stake in Blues to be reduced in restructured deal | UK News

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