TOON TAKEOVER: Peter Kenyon makes fresh £300m bid to buy Newcastle as Florida-based consortium offer Mike Ashley £125m up front
- Peter Kenyon has launched a fresh bid to buy Newcastle with a new consortium
- They have offered owner Mike Ashley £125m up front to take control of the club
- Kenyon and the Florida-based consortium will offer a total package of £300m
- The group have sufficient investment to fund the buyout paid over three years
- They plan to immediately inject £50m and want to make Newcastle a top-10 side
Peter Kenyon has launched a fresh bid to buy Newcastle United with a new consortium, who have offered to pay Mike Ashley £125million up front to take control of the club.
The former Chelsea and Manchester United chief executive has teamed up with Florida-based GACP Sports, who already own French club Bordeaux, to offer a total package of £300m for Newcastle with a pledge to establish them as one of the top 10 clubs in the Premier League.
Sportsmail has seen a 46-page brochure produced by Kenyon and GACP Sports detailing their plans for Newcastle, which they have been working on for several months.
Peter Kenyon has launched a fresh £300m bid to buy Newcastle with a new consortium
Mike Ashley (L) has been offered £125m up front and has indicted he will respond in 10 days
The group are understood to have secured sufficient investment to fund a £300m buyout paid over three years, with an additional £50m to be injected into the club immediately to cover operational costs. The offer has been lodged with Ashley, who has indicated that he will provide a definitive response within the next 10 days.
Kenyon’s revised bid follows a previous takeover attempt with a different group of American investors which was not successful earlier this year. Under the terms of the new offer seen by Sportsmail, GACP would make a down-payment of £125m to take control at St James’ Park, with a further £175m to be paid via a so-called seller’s note over three years. Ashley would earn three per cent interest on that sum each year.
In addition, Ashley’s company Sports Direct would be granted signage and advertising rights at St James’ Park until the final instalment and interest has been paid. In the brochure, Kenyon and GACP outline their ambitions for Newcastle, which they describe as an ‘undervalued brand’ that can be transformed into ‘one of the top 10 clubs in England’.
Ashley’s Sports Direct will be granted advertising rights at St James’ Park until final instalment
The group pledged to establish Newcastle as one of the top 10 clubs in the Premier League
Kenyon would become chief executive officer of Newcastle if the offer is accepted, working with GACP’s partners Joseph DaGrosa Jnr, Hugo Varela and David Neithardt, who are also involved at Bordeaux.
In July 2018, GACP, the sports investment arm of Florida-based private equity firm General American Capital Partners, paid £66m to acquire Bordeaux, who struggled in the first season of their ownership before finishing 14th in Ligue 1.
DaGrosa is the president of Bordeaux and Varela is used by the French club as a sports consultant. Kenyon’s group would inject £50m immediately into Newcastle on top of the purchase price and have produced detailed plans.
The group ‘plan to support current manager Steve Bruce’ despite his unpopularity with fans, who may be alarmed at GACP Sports’ claim that the 58-year-old has had ‘unparalleled success in Europe.’ Bruce’s European experience as a manager amounts to two ties in the qualifying rounds of the 2014-15 Europa League with Hull City.
They also say they ‘plan to support current manager Steve Bruce’ despite his unpopularity
In addition to backing Bruce, GACP Sports plan to ‘hire a leading head of recruitment to help identify top talent from across Europe’. Their long-term strategy is to ensure they are ‘positioned to sell top talent for significant sums, allowing for continued substantial reinvestment into the squad’.
Kenyon and GACP are convinced that Newcastle is significantly undervalued. To illustrate the potential for growth, the takeover brochure makes a direct comparison with Tottenham based on figures from Forbes magazine, who in 2004 valued Newcastle as the ninth richest club in the world at £322m, with the north London club ranked 15th at £222m.
In the intervening 15 years, Tottenham’s value has risen to £1.31billion, while Newcastle’s has fallen slightly to £308m.