British financier Amanda Staveley ponders deals for Liverpool, Tottenham football clubs

Author: FRANK KANE / SPECIAL TO ARAB NEWSMon, 2017-07-24 00:51ID: 1500837273742451100
LONDON: Amanda Staveley, the financial entrepreneur who has done deals worth billions of dollars in the Arabian Gulf, is considering deals involving two English Premier League football clubs, Arab News can reveal.
In an exclusive interview in London, Staveley — who runs the $28 billion private equity fund PCP Capital Partners — said that she thought the multibillion-dollar English football business was “an attractive investment.” PCP is an investment vehicle for sovereign investors in the Arabian Gulf and Asia.
Staveley has extensive experience of the world of football. She was involved in an ultimately aborted 2007 deal that saw Dubai investors attempting to buy Liverpool football club; and in 2008 she advised the vendors of Manchester City in the £210 million purchase of the club by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi.
Staveley declined to identify the clubs she is interested in, but they are believed to be Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
A potential deal for Liverpool is believed to be the more advanced. Last year, a £1 billion bid was halted after news of an approach by Chinese investors leaked prematurely. The current owner, the US-based Fenway Sports Group, insisted the club is not for sale. But a new higher offer might succeed, according to people familiar with the situation.
The other possible acquisition is of Tottenham Hotspur, the north London club. There have been tentative talks with the club’s owners but any potential offer is thought to be some way off, sources told Arab News. There is no certainty either deal will materialize.
Tottenham is in the middle of building a new £800 million stadium and any sale is thought unlikely until after that is completed. The owner, Bahamas-based billionaire Joe Lewis, is thought to have put a £2 billion price tag on the club after its new stadium opens.
Tottenham recently denied it was in talks with a fund invested by Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg for a £1 billion takeover.
Staveley also talked of her enthusiasm for the opportunities offered by the transformation underway in Saudi Arabia, with the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco worth an estimated $100 billion scheduled for next year, and an additional $200 billion privatization program in the Kingdom.
“There are lots of things we want to do in Saudi Arabia. Technology investment is a big opportunity for us, and PCP has got a big Shariah-finance side,” Staveley told Arab News.
“I’m very excited about what is happening in Saudi Arabia. There are big opportunities in infrastructure, funded by local bonds. We’ve done $7 billion to date in the Gulf in bond deals.”
Main category: Business & Economy

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