Takeover latest: Two potential buyers for Newcastle United emerge

Amanda Staveley
Amanda Staveley

The takeover of Newcastle United is gathering pace, with two potential buyers emerging over the last 24 hours.

Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov is monitoring the Magpies’ situation, while progress has been made on Amanda Staveley and PCP Capital Partners’ potential bid.

Mikhail Prokhorov

Mikhail Prokhorov

A report in the Financial Times stated that Staveley “was due to meet Newcastle representatives on Tuesday, according to one person briefed on talks”.

That comes after Reuters’ news outlet earlier claimed Staveley valued United at around $400million (£303.7million) and was indeed “interested” in bidding to purchase the Magpies from Mike Ashley, who put the club up for sale on Monday night.

Staveley is thought to be one of four interested parties, although the FT report states that any sale before Christmas – a timescale set by Ashley’s lawyer Andrew Henderson yesterday – is said to be “a tall order”.

It goes on to note that owner Ashley sees the worth of the club between £300-400million, with a further £200million required to strengthen the squad.

Reuters claim that Staveley believes the club would need around £150million of investment in the playing budget, over the next two years.

Four potential investors have signed non-disclosure agreements with the club, which is a legal contract preventing the sharing of confidential material or information with third parties.

Talk of Staveley’s interest was stoked when she attended United’s recent 1-1 Premier League draw with Liverpool, who she also fronted a failed bid to buy in recent years.

During that trip to St James’s, she conducted informal talks with club managing director Lee Charnley, as well as Keith Bishop and Justin Barnes, close associates of Ashley. She also had a meeting with manager Rafa Benitez.

Meanwhile, billionaire Prokhorov is looking to invest in the lucrative English Premier League, and has kept a keen eye on developments on Tyneside for some time.

Prokhorov is the current owner of NBA basketball side the Brooklyn Nets, whom he bought in December 2015 for $1.7billion.

His estimated worth is £7billion, placing him inside the top 150 richest people on the planet, according to Forbes. Despite completing the takeover of the Nets less than two years ago, the 52-year-old is looking to sell.

The New York Post reported last month that Prokhorov, unable to sell a minority stake in the money-losing NBA franchise, plans to offload a controlling stake in the team.

In a deal similarly proposed by Ashley, Prokhorov is hoping to sell the Nets with some cash paid up front and the rest at a later date.

As yet, it’s not known if there has been any contact between Newcastle and representatives of the precious metals magnate.