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Monday, August 22

Liverpool Unconvered: Fenway Sports Group consider investors, details of Chinese talks

FENWAY SPORTS GROUP would be willing to sell a stake in Liverpool to the right partner as the club’s owners prepare to consider an approach from Chinese investors.
Liverpool takeover news

China Everbright, a state-owned conglomerate, is targeting Liverpool and value the club in excess of £800m.
FSG have been forthcoming about considering a commercial/strategic partnership if it helped the club move forward.
However, they are not looking to sell the Anfield club and they have not solicited the interest. There has been no bid as yet and the process is in the early stages.
Talks with China Everbright will be handled in the first instance by Allen and Co, a boutique investment bank, whom FSG have a long-term relationship with and use to advise them on a range of business and financial issues.
Allen and Co would then have to recommend a meeting with FSG, who are headed by principal owner John W Henry.

Everbright are being helped by PCP Capital Partners, a private equity firm founded by Amanda Staveley.
She worked with Dubai International Capital during negotiations to buy Liverpool in 2008 and also brokered Sheikh Mansour’s £210m purchase of Manchester City the same year.
That the approach has been made public jars with when China Media Capital bought a 13% stake in Manchester City’s City Football Group back in February.
That deal was done under the radar. However, Everbright are being backed by the China Investment Corporation, whose assets are in the region of £620bn, which elevates them to the status of serious players.

If Everbright are rebuffed by Liverpool, then the Chinese government's determination to infiltrate the Premier League means they are likely to look elsewhere which FSG will have to consider as they seek to re-establish the club's fortunes.
Mike Gordon, president of FSG, stated in July 2015 that Liverpool would look for investment opportunities.
"I believe we at FSG have been clear all along that we intend to be creative and bold in all of our commercial activities in an effort to generate more revenue, which in turn is used to increase funding to those parts of the club that help us win football matches," said Gordon.
"It is worthwhile to point out that these deals can entail complex discussions around a wide spectrum of possibilities, from naming rights and hospitality packages to bundling with other sponsorship opportunities across the club and under the right conditions, even to outright investment.

"The common thread to all of these options, or any other commercial activity of LFC, is that they must help to accomplish the goal of generating additional resources to invest in LFC in order to move the club forward and win trophies."
FSG bought Liverpool for £300m in 2010 and the club's new Main Stand, for which there remains an ongoing global search for naming rights, opens on September 10.
Liverpool are now valued at around £1.4bn. Chairman Tom Werner publicly stated the club was not for sale last week and previous interest from China has been dismissed.
Yet the fact that FSG will sell one day leaves a question mark against them.

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