UK-based billionaire-backed bid emerges as latest approach for Everton FC

Another potential bidder to take control of Everton FC has emerged.

Vici Private Finance is a UK-based vehicle, reported to be backed by two ‘western billionaires’.

Companies House records show Vici was only incorporated on December 28, 2023.

Based in Covent Garden, London, its sole two directors are listed as Owen Stanley Bolt and Mark Thomas Ward.

Bolt’s occupation is listed as financier while Owen is described as a director.

It is reported that Vici opened talks with Everton majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, earlier this year.

Its offer for Moshiri’s 94.1% stake, which he values at £500m, comprises an all-equity bid, without the need for additional debt.

Vici has also, reportedly, provided proof of cash, in the region of £1bn.

The takeover vehicle is being advised by former Everton director, Keith Harris, who served on the club’s board for three years from 2016, when Moshiri bought the Blues.

He has a track record of involvement in football club takeovers, including Roman Abramovich’s deal for Chelsea, Randy Lerner’s takeover of Aston Villa and the Fulham acquisition by Shahid Khan.

It is understood that Vici has also made contact with senior local politicians regarding regeneration plans for the area around Everton’s new £760m stadium, currently under construction at Bramley-Moore Dock, on the River Mersey, which is due for completion by the end of this year in time to host the Blues in the 2025-26 season.

As one fan remarked, the scramble for ownership of The Toffees seemingly makes a mockery of late owner, Bill Kenwright’s, claim that he searched for years for a billionaire suitor – like buses, you wait ages for one then four turn up.

Other suitors for the club include local property developer George Downing and financier Andy Bell, US-based consortium MSP Sports Capital, Roma FC owner, Dan Friedkin, and a consortium of international investors, which involves a member of the Saudi royal family, which is said to have made a £400m offer.

Crystal Palace owner, John Textor, has reportedly ruled himself out of a possible bid.

The field is wide open for an Everton takeover once more after an exclusivity period for Miami-based 777 Partners expired at the end of May having been unable to fund its takeover, despite Moshiri declaring 777 as his preferred bidder when he put the club up for sale last September.

One further approach which has, apparently, gained traction with Moshiri, is a possible bid from US insurer, A-Cap, controlled by Kenneth King.

However, US-based prolific Everton blogger and finance expert, ‘The Esk’, has warned that A-Cap, which is heavily indebted to the struggling 777 Partners, should, in no way, be entertained by Moshiri.

He writes: “Moshiri has to act in the interests of Everton Football Club, its stakeholders, the City of Liverpool and, most importantly, its employees and fans. To even entertain or allow King and A-Cap to enter the bidding arena is absurd and a huge insult to the club and Evertonians.

“We should all, with the utmost force and without equivocation, condemn Moshiri for even suggesting such. He needs to focus on genuine bids, especially those with a local context backed by experienced sports funders and operators. Leave the club Moshiri as quickly as possible, allow us to recover from your ownership and do not insult us with proposals such as King and A-Cap.”