Everton pondering several approaches in long-running takeover process

Everton FC

Everton FC owner, Farhad Moshiri, is contemplating a clutch of prospective bidders for the Merseyside club, after 777 Partners’ exclusivity period expired last month.

One approach that excited Blues fans was reports of a combined bid from local businessmen Andy Bell, founder of Manchester investment platform, AJ Bell, and Liverpool property developer, George Downing, reportedly backed by US tech entrepreneur, Michael Dell, who is worth up to $120bn.

Bell and Downing have already backed the club with loans of around £158m towards the continued construction of its new £760m stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

US consortium, MSP Sports Capital, is also back in the frame after losing out to 777 Partners last September for poll position in the bidding war for Moshiri’s 94.1% stake, which he values at £500m.

New York-based MSP, headed by Jahm Najafi, Jeffrey Moorad, and Peter Taylor, had been in talks with Moshiri since the beginning of 2023 and had raised £130m towards taking a 25% equity stake in the club.

However, the deal collapsed after opposition from one of Everton’s existing lenders, Cheshire-based Rights and Media Funding Limited.

Crystal Palace owner, John Textor, entered the mix last month when the American announced his intention to sell his 45% stake at Palace and, possibly, buy into Everton.

The latest name to be linked with an approach for the Toffees is Roma owner, Dan Friedkin.

The American businessman has an estimated net worth of £4.8bn, and is reportedly aiming for an exclusivity agreement with Moshiri.

The long-running exclusivity agreement with Miami-based 777 Partners ran out at the end of May when it was unable to meet Moshiri’s deadline to get a deal over the line.

It is estimated that 777 had already pumped around £200m into the club to fund its day-to-day existence.

Everton confirmed the exclusivity period’s lapse last month, saying: “The club will continue to operate as usual, while it works with Blue Heaven Holdings (Moshiri’s vehicle) to assess all options for the club’s future ownership.”

With interest very much alive and well, the next phase is expected to be Moshiri’s choice of his latest preferred bidder.