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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Everton’s Takeover Is Dead. Another U.S. Investor Is Already Interested

  • An agreement for 777 Partners to buy the Premier League club expired.
  • A minority shareholder at Crystal Palace has expressed interest in the team.
Everton defender Nathan Patterson
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The complicated saga of an American investment firm attempting to take over English Premier League club Everton is finally over. An agreement for Miami-based 777 Partners to purchase a majority stake in Everton from its parent company, Blue Heaven Holdings Limited, has expired, the club announced.

How the Deal Broke Down

In September, 777—which already had stakes in six other soccer clubs around the world, like LaLiga’s Sevilla—struck a deal to acquire Everton at a reported valuation of roughly $685 million. The takeover was set to be completed by the end of 2023, but it never received regulatory approval because 777 didn’t provide audited financial statements to the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority. In May, a British asset management company sued 777 over fraud.

Now, Everton is officially back on the market, and all indications are that the club’s majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri (who owns 94.1% via the aforementioned holding company), intends to find a new buyer. “The club will continue to operate as usual, while it works with Blue Heaven Holdings to assess all options for the club’s future ownership,” a statement from Everton read.

A Steep Price Tag

Last week, before 777’s agreement even expired, another U.S. investor made their interest in Everton known: John Textor, a minority owner of Crystal Palace, which finished 10th in the EPL this season. Textor, whose Eagles Football Holdings has stakes in five clubs worldwide, told The Athletic he wants to become a majority owner of an EPL team, and some conversations with Everton have already happened. “Everton represents the best of English football: the struggles, the glory, the want,” he said. “I love that it’s out of London. Everybody should want to buy Everton right now. That kind of club is what I’m referring to.”

The Athletic estimated it would cost around $955 million to buy Everton, reduce debts, complete construction of a new $700 million stadium, and put together a squad competitive enough to stay in the EPL. Everton finished 15th this season—three spots above relegation—after enduring a penalty of six points (which are worth winning two matches) for breaching financial fair play rules. That price point is almost $300 million more than Everton’s valuation last fall when 777 first struck its takeover deal.

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