According to reports in England, Liverpool has rebuffed a $2.5 billion takeover, one that would have potentially been a world record for a soccer club.
The Mirror reporter Andrew Gilpin writes that Sheik Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nehayan, part of the Abu Dhabi ruling family and a cousin of Manchester City owner Sheik Mansour, met with current Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group about the massive takeover, but the deal ultimately broke down.
After the report was released, Liverpool released a statement denying the claims that the potential deal progressed that far. “FSG has been clear and consistent: the club is not for sale,” read the statement. “But what the ownership has said, again clearly and consistently, is that under the right terms and conditions we would consider taking on a minority investor, if such a partnership was to further our commercial interests in specific market places and in line with the continued development and growth of the club and the team.”
There are slightly conflicting reports across the English media with regards to how far the failed deal progressed, but most reports state that at some point FSG chairman Tom Werner met with Sheik Khaled. According to BBC’s Dan Roan, the deal was considered not credible by FSG’s investment bank.
This is not the first time an outside consortium has attempted to purchase Liverpool in recent years. Reports say a group led by British businesswoman Amanda Staveley failed with a $1.9 billion bid last summer, before launching her recent attempts at securing ownership of Newcastle United.
As the statement above confirms, Liverpool has been searching for a minority investor for quite some time, hoping to emulate Manchester City, who took on Chinese investors China Media Capital back in late 2015 in a deal worth approximately $339.5 million.