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This is what Kyril Louis-Dreyfus told Sunderland fans about share sales, Juan Sartori and possible outside investment at key meeting

Kyril Louis-Dreyfus says he has of yet not been able to agree a deal to acquire Stewart Donald's shareholding in Sunderland AFC.

By Phil Smith
Monday, 7th March 2022, 7:35 pm

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Louis-Dreyfus met with the supporters collective last week after there was widespread outrage amongst the fanbase that a year after his arrival, it was revealed that he owned only a 41% stake in the club.

That has renewed calls for the departure of the Madrox consortium, with Donald and Charlie Methven then stating publicly that they would sell their remaining 39% share for £11.7 million (valuing the club at £30 million as a whole).

Louis-Dreyfus has signalled that he is unlikely to meet that price, and has said that he would be open to a third party acquiring those shares if they are prepared to meet it.

Sunderland Chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus

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He has insisted, though, that he will not relinquish the controlling agreement he demanded when acquiring his stake, which gives him a majority on the board and the power to make day-to-day executie decisions.

In response to a question as to why he only took 41% of the shares, the notes read: "A variety of different shareholdings were discussed but an acceptable commercial deal was found at 41% for all parties.

"KLD wanted the club and was prepared to compromise on the shareholding size but not on control of SAFC. There have been discussions with Stewart Donald about increasing KLD’s shareholding, but to date it hasn’t been possible to agree a deal.

"If a credible buyer with sizeable funds capable of passing the EFL’s Owners’ & Directors Test and who agrees with the vision of the club, wishes to buy shares in the club, KLD would be happy for another party to invest, but will not relinquish control."

The minutes went on to add: "KLD said he is very focused on the running of the club and not conducting his business in public; there are more important things to deal with. KLD confirmed he makes all decisions at the club regarding on or off the field appointments and investment.

"Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven have funded the club when required but KLD has control on governance. Ownership should be discussed at the end of the season.

"Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven have publicly stated they are happy to sell their shares, KLD is open to acquiring more shares, but reiterated that even with a willing buyer and seller a commercial deal has to be right for everyone.

"It can also take some time to negotiate the sale of shares."

Donald and Methven, it has recently been confirmed, are yet to fulfill their stated promise to repay the parachute payments used to part-fund their purchase of the club in 2018 in full.

The minutes from meeting also confirmed that Juan Sartori, who has a 20% stake in the club, is not looking to sell, and signalled that he is now closely aligned with Louis-Dreyfus behind the scenes.

"It was advised that Juan intends to work with KLD to bring the club back to the Premier League and while he is busy with politics, remains committed to the club."

The minutes are available in full here