The takeover of Newcastle United has finally been agreed, as a Saudi Arabian-led consortium has agreed a reported $407 million deal to buy the Premier League club.
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This comes after the same consortium pulled out of the deal in July 2020, but the deal has now been completed, the Magpies confirmed.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) will have a majority 80 percent stake in Newcastle.
Businesswoman Amanda Staveley has led the group from the start (their original interest dates back to 2017) and local billionaire businessmen, the Reuben brothers, are also part of the consortium and will also be on the board of directors alongside Staveley to oversee day-to-day operations.
Yasir al-Rumayyan, the governor of Saudi Arabia’s PIF, has become the club’s non-executive chairman.
Following an 18-month wait to complete the deal, the 14-year reign of previous Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is over at St James’ Park.
Here is the statement in full from Newcastle
An investment group led by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and also comprising PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media (the “Investment Group”), has completed the acquisition of 100% of Newcastle United Limited and Newcastle United Football Club Limited (“Newcastle United” or the “Club”) from St. James Holdings Limited.
All requisite approvals have been obtained from the English Premier League and the acquisition was completed on 7 October 2021.
The Investment Group is comprised of long-term, patient investors who have every confidence in the future success of the Club. Today’s announcement is the conclusion of a thorough and detailed process that has allowed the Investment Group to arrive at a deal that benefits all stakeholders and will leave Newcastle United well-placed to pursue a clear, long-term strategy.
His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, will serve as Non-Executive Chairman of Newcastle United. Amanda Staveley, chief executive of PCP Capital Partners, will have one seat on the board. Jamie Reuben will also be a director of the Club, representing RB Sports & Media.
🗣 "We've got our club back!"
Look at what it means to these Newcastle United fans! 🤩
The £300m takeover of #NUFC has officially been completed, with a Saudi-led consortium ending Mike Ashley's 14-year ownership of the club 💰
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 7, 2021
For PIF, one of the world’s most impactful investors, the acquisition is in line with its strategy of focusing on key sectors including Sports and Entertainment, and aligns with PIF’s mission to actively invest over the long term – in this case, to harness the Club’s potential and build upon the Club’s legacy.
Commenting on the agreement, His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, said: “We are extremely proud to become the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most famous clubs in English football.
“We thank the Newcastle fans for their tremendously loyal support over the years and we are excited to work together with them.”
Amanda Staveley, Chief Executive Officer of PCP Capital Partners, said: “This is a long-term investment. We are excited about the future prospects for Newcastle United.
“We intend to instill a united philosophy across the Club, establish a clear purpose, and help provide leadership that will allow Newcastle United to go on to big achievements over the long term. Our ambition is aligned with the fans – to create a consistently successful team that’s regularly competing for major trophies and generates pride across the globe.”
Jamie Reuben of RB Sports & Media, said: “We look forward to a great future for Newcastle United. Newcastle is a fantastic city, which is why our family has been investing heavily in the area for many years. To become part of this great Club and its amazing fans is a privilege.
“We will build a true community Club, based upon our family’s knowledge of the city and in line with our plans that have been worked on closely with Newcastle City Council to deliver long-term sustainable growth for the area.”
The directors of the Investment Group thank Mike Ashley for his commitment to the sale process. We would also like to thank the Premier League for its contribution in the regulatory process, which has helped lead to completion of this deal.
What has changed?
Here is more background information from our partners Sky Sports, as this deal has moved very quickly over the last 24 hours:
“The Saudi-led consortium previously withdrew from the deal in July 2020 after the Premier League identified the Saudi stake as a director with control over the club, which would have made it subject to the league’s owners’ and directors’ test as part of the takeover process.
“However, the Saudi state removed a significant barrier to the takeover when it resolved its issues with beIN Sports over the illegal streaming of Premier League football on Wednesday. The Qatari network beIN has been unable to broadcast in Saudi Arabia for the last four-and-a-half years as part of a diplomatic dispute, but the ban is now set to come to an end. The station had been opposed to the Newcastle takeover, saying the ban and piracy of its content was damaging sports rights holders.”
What can we expect?
Per multiple reports, PIF will invest significant sums of money into Newcastle and will focus on renovating the stadium, training ground and building up the academy.
They also plan to spend plenty of money on new players, but the noises coming out of those close to St James’ Park suggest it will be done in a gradual process rather than making a huge splash on big-name players straight away.
That said, it is expected that money will be available to spend in the January transfer window after a frugal summer has seen Steve Bruce’s weakened squad struggle early in the season and they sit 19th in the Premier League table and have yet to win any of their opening seven games.