Michael Dell and his MSD UK Holdings group invest in Southampton - a year after their Sunderland takeover talks began
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MSD UK Holdings are a newly-established investment group set-up to manage the wealth of billionaire technology tycoon Michael Dell, who last year was mentioned as a potential ‘passive, minority investor’ in a deal to buy Sunderland.
That deal was led by MSD employees Glenn Fuhrmann, Robert Platek and John Phelan – whose company FPP Sunderland ultimately agreed a £9million loan with owner Stewart Donald’s holding company, Madrox Partners, after takeover talks stalled.
And after rumours earlier this year that MSD were interested in striking an investment deal with Derby County, they have now finalised an agreement with Premier League side Southampton.
Documents lodged at Companies House show that a charge was registered by MSD UK Holdings against the Saints on June 29 – following similar terms to the agreement that was struck between FPP and Madrox.
Indeed, the signatory on behalf of MSD UK Holdings is a Marcello Liguori – the same individual who signed the deal between Madrox and FPP.
Interestingly, MSD UK Holdings were only established as a company on June 29 and share one common director with FPP Sunderland – Robert Platek.
While the specifics of the deal with Southampton, including the amount invested by the group, remains unclear, the charge is registered against the club itself, their home ground and training ground and a number of items of intellectual property.
The investment deal does not seem to break any EFL or Premier League rules regarding a conflict of interest given that no individuals or groups hold shares in both clubs – and since the respective investment deals came from separate entities.
But the news will come as a further blow to Sunderland supporters who had hoped that FPP Sunderland would purchase the club in the near future – a prospect owner Donald described as ‘unlikely’ in January.
“Their view is that they’re 3000 miles away and they invest in management teams, so their investment was in me,” he said.
“So if I’m not there it’s unlikely, I think, that they’ll want to take it on.”