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Sat 25 Jan 2020 05:58 PM

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Saudi wealth fund said to be in talks to buy Newcastle Utd

Public Investment Fund is reportedly in discussions to buy English Premier club owned by Mike Ashley for $445m

Saudi wealth fund said to be in talks to buy Newcastle Utd

British billionaire Mike Ashley.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund is in talks to buy Newcastle United FC, the Premier League soccer team owned by British billionaire Mike Ashley, for about £340 million ($445 million), Dow Jones reported on Saturday.

A final deal for the northeast English soccer club could be days or weeks away, Dow Jones said citing unidentified people familiar with the discussions.

The potential buyer is the Public Investment Fund, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s key investment vehicle, along with a group of investors led by British financier Amanda Staveley, the sources said.

Ashley, who founded Frasers Group, is a serial buyer of ailing UK high street names from House of Fraser to Evans Cycles. He bought the soccer club in 2007 for £134 million and has been struggling to offload it in recent years.

He put it up for sale as early as 2008 with fans of the soccer club quickly souring on him following the departure of manager Kevin Keegan.

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