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Finance expert explains how Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and Juan Sartori can benefit from buying more shares in Sunderland

Kyril Louis-Dreyfus will be able to effectively dictate how things are run at Sunderland after becoming the club’s majority shareholder, according to football finance expert Kieran Maguire.

Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 8:00 am

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Louis-Dreyfus has increased his stake in the Black Cats from 41% to 51%, while Juan Sartori has also bought more shares meaning the Uruguayan now owns 30% of the club.

The move has seen Charlie Methven’s 5% stake purchased in its entirety, while Stewart Donald’s has been reduced to 19%.

As a result, Louis-Dreyfus will have more control on the money that is invested into Sunderland, with the club’s shareholders making pro rata financial contributions based on the percentages they own.

Sunderland chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus now owns 51% of the club.

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It has also put an end to talk that cryptocurrency group The Fans Together could purchase Donald and Methven’s combined 39%.

"He was the biggest shareholder, now the biggest shareholder is not the same as the majority,” Maguire told the Echo when asked about Louis-Dreyfus purchasing an extra 10% of the club.

“You’ve got to get to 51% where you can now effectively dictate things far more directly.

“If you’ve got 51% of the shares you are now in a position to determine who will direct the club again, whereas with 41% he had to get Sartori onboard. Nobody quite knows what Sartori’s motives are in relation to Sunderland.

“The 51% does give you voting power in respect to key decisions. It’s a bit like having a coalition government where you have to make compromises.”

“It allows him to have greater control in terms of the strategy of the club with regards to the funding.”

But while Donald’s shares have reduced, Maguire says the former owner, who used parachute payment money to purchase the club, could still benefit from Sunderland.

“Donald will still think of his investment in Sunderland as a lucky lottery ticket,” Maguire added.

“If Sunderland get into the Premier League he might be able to sell his 19% at a much higher price.

“He is keeping hold of a share of the club in the hope that it will go up to the top division and he’ll be able to exit with a substantial gain in those circumstances.

“I think it has been fairly evident that both Donald and Methven have been looking for an exit route for some time under those circumstances.

“It’s like let's say you are planning to sell your house, the last thing you are going to do is put in a new kitchen because you are not going to recover your money.

“Methven pulling out entirely, he didn’t have cash to invest in Sunderland and I’m not convinced that Stewart Donald did either but he’s now down at 19%.

“There’s nothing to stop Louis-Drefus, along with Sartori because they have got more than 75% between them, they can now issue shares and further dilute Donald’s stake. It just gives them additional flexibility with regards to the funds.

"Donald was using the club’s parachute payments to fund the club and didn’t want to put a lot in himself.

“Also it gets rid of that fans network Crypto scheme in relation to how Methven and Donald were looking for an exit route.”