The holding company behind Everton’s new stadium on the banks of the River Mersey has secured some external funding, according to public documents made available via Companies House.
Everton Stadium Development Holding Company Limited (ESDHC) incurred a charge on May 19, a development that relates to funding being sourced from a lender. The charge in this case specifically relates to the stadium’s holding company, with an agreement with an agent, Ormskirk-based Blythe Capital, detailed.
Blythe Capital, which is owned by Everton fan Andrew Bell, chief of the successful AJ Bell investment firm, is detailed as the agent but that does not mean that Blythe Capital are the lender in this particular case.
The Companies House charge states that ‘the lenders have agreed to make a loan to the borrower (ESDHC) relying on, among other security, the security interest created in this deed’.
The charge relates to the securing of external funds by ESDHC, for an unspecified amount of money, potentially as some form of bridging loan to ensure the continued development of the stadium build at Bramley-Moore Dock at a time when the club are in an exclusivity period with US firm MSP Sports Capital, who are set to take a 20 to 25 per cent stake through a preferential share structure. The deal is set to provide the final tranche of funding for the construction of the 52,888-seater stadium.
With the departure of Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Grant Ingles and Graham Sharp from the Everton board last week it signalled the start of major changes behind the scenes at Goodison Park.
Chairman Bill Kenwright is expected to depart in the near future, although the 48-hour deadline that the club imposed on themselves at the time of the boardroom exit announcement has now gone beyond a week. New York-based investment firm MSP Sports Capital has been in negotiations with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri since the turn of the year, with MSP co-founders Jahm Najafi and Jeffrey Moorad, along with company vice-president Peter Taylor, having attended the defeat at home to Southampton back in January and being shown the site of the new stadium build at Bramley-Moore Dock during the visit.
MSP are currently in a period of exclusivity and talks over a stake of around 25 per cent in the club, initially for £100m, are understood to be reaching the closing stages, with additions to the boardroom expected to follow, potentially with Najafi and Moorad among them. The preferential share structure of the deal would provide Moshiri with up to £150m of loans with warrants that can be converted into equity, meaning the 94 per cent shareholding that Moshiri has currently could be diluted by more than 50 per cent. He would, however, retain overall control. While talks over the Everton investment continue, a major investment deal involving one of MSP’s other sporting assets, the McLaren Formula One racing team, has just come to a conclusion. MSP acquired a significant minority stake in the Formula One team back in 2020 in a £185m deal for an initial 15 per cent, one that could rise to as much as 33 per cent. US/Iranian billionaire Najafi, a co-owner of the Phoenix Suns NBA team, serves as vice chairman of the racing team, and discussions over a major shareholder change have just reached an end, with Mumtalakat Holdings, the sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain, having acquired £400m of preferential shares in the company that were held by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), the owners of Newcastle United, and major US investment fund Ares Management. The investment deal was first reported by Sky News. It is a move that reinforces the controlling position of Bahrain at McLaren, with Najafi and Moorad having been pictured in the Gulf nation earlier this year for the start of the Formula One season. With PIF exiting and Mumtalakat taking on greater equity it strengthens the relationship between the Bahraini sovereign wealth fund and MSP, the next largest investor in the firm.
With the focus set to be on concluding an investment deal for Everton in the near future, with the stadium build a key component, hopes have grown for signs of white smoke to appear above Goodison Park. iverpoolecho.co.uk