Swiss consortium behind Bolton Wanderers sees stake drift up

Bolton Wanderers

A group of Geneva-based oil traders have seen their shareholding in Bolton Wanderers Football Club “drift up” to between 25% to 35% of the League One club.

Described in the last set of published accounts as “the Swiss consortium” the investors are part of an entity called BMLL Limited, led by Ben Luckock, global head of oil at trading house Trafigura Group, and the brother of Nick Luckock, who led the rescue of the Whites in 2019.

He backed his brother two years ago, and the accounts of Football Ventures (Whites) Limited revealed that on 31 January 2022 the shareholders agreed to issue 118, 738 shares for a total cash value of £775,000 from BMLL.

In an interview with financial news TV channel Bloomberg Ben Luckock said the group consists of around 25 families, some of whom are also executives at Trafigura. 

Ben Luckock on Bloomberg

Ben Luckock said the shareholding of his group had “drifted up over time” and that he’d invested after a rescue from liquidation by his brother, Nick, and current Bolton chair Sharon Brittan.

“We’re willing to be very much in the background,” Ben Luckock said in the interview with Bloomberg. “I’ve got a huge amount of trust in my brother and zero interest in delving into any control aspects.”

Currently sitting in third place in League One, Bolton’s holding company, Football Ventures, lost £3.7 million in 2022, from revenue of £13.8 million, but the supporters appear to have embraced the new ownership and enjoyed a day at Wembley last year in the Papa John’s Trophy final. 

Season ticket sales hit 16,000 for this season and last year the club raised £4.5 million through a fan-supported bond scheme.