An American hedge fund, which has the backing of Japanese investment giant SoftBank, has been involved in talks with Dubai-based Bin Zayed Group about the potential $350 million takeover of English Premier League outfit Newcastle United.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Fortress Investment Group is among a clutch of groups talking to Bin Zayed. It also claims Bin Zayed has appointed accountants from KPMG and lawyers from Pinsent Masons to work on a deal.
Bin Zayed Group, a conglomerate with diverse business interests in the local and international markets, is controlled by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Mike Ashley, the founder of the Sports Direct retail chain, bought Newcastle United for £134.4 million in 2007 but has faced a string of protests from supporters disgruntled at what they see as a lack of investment in players.
He has put Newcastle up for sale three times but every bid has failed to produce a deal.
Earlier this month a statement from Bin Zayed Group, released on social media via a Dubai journalist, said: “Both parties have worked diligently in finalising a deal, none more so than ourselves. We have completed every aspect required in a takeover process.
“Press claims of no bids or Premier League approval processes are simply untrue.
“The current owners have cooperated amicably throughout this process and if a deal is not forthcoming it will not be due to lack of effort from both parties.”
Arabian Business has contacted Bin Zayed Group for comment.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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