England

Newcastle: Breaking down a potential takeover

There’s been a lot of news floating about recently about a potential NUFC takeover and I’ve decided to compound all of the facts and issues into one article.

Who is Amanda Stavely?

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Amanda Stavely was born in North Yorkshire on the 11th April 1973. She has a net worth of £115 million and has been a businesswoman for the majority of her life, initially dealing in telecoms and restaurants. Now she is the head of PCP Capital Partners in Dubai and has a wealth of trusted contacts in the Persian Gulf. Towards the end of 2008, Staveley advised Sheikh Mansour (the owner of Manchester City) in a £3.5 billion investment in Barclays. This helped the bank avoid a government bailout due to the financial crash at the time. She was also in negotiations with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to buy a 49% stake in Liverpool. This would have given Staveley a position on the board however, the deal collapsed.

Her past history with financial investments shows that we’re dealing with a very competent businesswoman, certainly not a Mike Ashley that’s for sure. All facts from Wikipedia.

How close is a deal?

At the minute, it’s impossible to truly say how close a deal is because negotiations still aren’t complete and there are still legal issues that must be sorted. One of the main issues is a relegation clause. It’s no secret that Newcastle will be facing a relegation battle and Staveley knows this very well and is right to be cautious of relegation. Staveley initially bid around £250 million in mid-November however, this is way below Mike Ashley’s dream £300 million figure (from the Financial Times). Now it’s emerged that Stavely & Co are close to agreeing a deal after increasing their bid closer to £300 million and taking out some clauses (source Keith Downie). But like I said before, the relegation clause is still an awkward obstacle for Ashley (Keith Downie). The relegation clause would mean Ashley would have to reimburse Staveley and PCP with a vast figure if Newcastle were to be relegated (Sky Sports).

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How will the deal affect the January window?

Even if a deal were to be completed tomorrow, it would not be completed until February and that’s assuming there are no bumps in the road. Staveley and her firm will have to go through an Owner’s and Director’s test which essentially checks for any conflict of interest, proof of funding (e.g. insolvency or bankruptcy) and if her firm can pay for all costs for at least 12 months. This will take 30 days so it definitely wouldn’t happen before January.

However, Staveley and Ashely have agreed to give Benitez money and then Staveley will refund Ashley once a takeover has been completed. It’s hardly going to be a massive figure, around £20 – £30 million just to sure up the squad a bit.

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Again just to re-iterate, this is all hypothetical. The deal could collapse tomorrow and then we’d be right back where we started, or the deal could be completed soon and we would have a bright future. The waters have been muddied a lot but it is an exciting time to be a Newcastle supporter.

Feature image credit: Ben Sutherland

 

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