Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF) led consortium has completed the long-awaited takeover of the UK-based professional football club, Newcastle United Football Club, after gaining approval from the English Premier League (EPL).
The investment group comprising of PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media has acquired 100 percent of Newcastle United Limited and Newcastle United Football Club from St. James Holdings Limited.
The controversial deal has been delayed for about 18 months due to an argument between beIN Sports and the Saudis over illegal broadcasts. The sale of the club to Saudi Arabia had already been sounding for a long time and has been secretly revived in recent weeks as a transformative axis for the club and for the northeast region of the Kingdom.
As part of the acquisition, Saudi Arabia’s PIF will take an 80 percent stake in the club. PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media will take on 10 percent each. The sale was confirmed by Newcastle through its website.
“The Premier League, Newcastle United Football Club and St James Holdings Limited have today settled the dispute over the takeover of the club by the consortium of PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media,” the Premier League said in a statement.
“After the completion of the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test, the club has been sold to the consortium with immediate effect. The legal disputes concerned which entities would own and/or have the ability to control the club following the takeover. The Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club,” the statement added.
The governor of PIF, Mr. Yasir Al-Rumayyan will become the non-executive chairman of Newcastle United, Ms. Amanda Staveley, chief executive of PCP Capital Partners, will have one seat on the board. Mr. Jamie Reuben will also be a director of the club, representing RB Sports & Media.
Mr. Al-Rumayya in his statement said that the deal would mean long-term investment to harness the club’s potential and build upon its legacy. “We are extremely proud to become the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most famous clubs in English football,” he added.
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