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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Centricus Chelsea Bid Reportedly Tops $4B

  • Chelsea FC received an impressive bid from asset manager Centricus.
  • Bidders could be reduced to a shortlist by Tuesday.
Mark Harkin/Design: Alex Brooks

Chelsea FC may not have to look outside London for its new owner.

Investment firm Centricus Asset Management, which oversees $38 billion in assets, has made what may be the richest bid for the team with a reported proposal north of $4 billion.

That would match the lofty asking price sought by former team owner Roman Abramovich before the club was seized as a result of sanctions related to his ties to Russian leadership.

  • The firm partnered with Jonathan Lourie of Cheyne Capital and Bob Finch of Talis Capital on the bid.
  • Centricus promised further investment in the club, including funds to “maintain an elite global brand” and invest in “grassroots” and “strategic real estate.” The team is likely to seek renovations to its Stamford Bridge stadium or an entirely new facility. 
  • The firm said it would retain Chelsea’s existing management.

Last year, UEFA discussed a $7.9 billion financing deal with Centricus aimed at revamping the UEFA Champions League and thwarting the European Super League.

Centricus co-founder Nizar Al-Bassam and CEO Garth Ritchie are Chelsea season-ticket holders. 

The Raine Group, which is overseeing the sale, seeks to reduce the bidders to a shortlist by Tuesday.

Manchester United Boosted

The Chelsea bidding war has provided a boost to publicly traded Manchester United. Deutsche Bank upgraded Man U to “buy” from “hold” after an analyst determined that the team would fetch a higher price than Chelsea if it were to be sold.

Manchester United reached a market cap of around $2.2 billion after shares leapt around 4% on Monday.

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