Exclusive: Powerful group lodges formal takeover bid for Newcastle United
A formal bid for Newcastle United has been lodged by the powerful Bellagraph Nova Group – with Michael Chopra involved in the takeover attempt.
The Gazette revealed earlier today that Far East businessmen Terence and Nelson Loh were in talks over a bid for the club.
A senior figure has now told the Gazette that the BN Group, co-founded by Evangeline Shen and the Lohs, is “willing to massively contribute to the development of the club”.
The multi-national company, which also intends to invest in the city and local community, is now waiting to hear back from owner Mike Ashley and his lawyers.
Ashley has reportedly been considering legal action against the Premier League following the withdrawal of a bid which was led by financier Amanda Staveley and 80% funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
David and Simon Reuben – who were to take a 10% stake in the club – remain committed to the bid.
The Premier League was criticised after it failed to make a decision on the proposed £300million takeover, submitted in April.
An online petition demanding an independent review of the takeover process has been signed by 109,000 fans amid anger on Tyneside.
Richard Masters, the Premier League’s chief executive, this week replied to a letter from Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah in which she expressed concerns about the process on behalf of her constituents.
And it is against this backdrop that the BN Group this week sent a letter of intent to Ashley, who put the club up for sale in late 2017.
The Gazette understands that all the paperwork required at this stage, including proof of funds, has now been lodged with Ashley’s lawyers. The group is ready to pay a non-refundable deposit of £250,000 to access the club’s “data room”.
Former United striker Chopra – who had a series of meetings at the BN Group’s headquarters in Paris this week – is fronting the bid.
The BN Group, which describes itself as a “leading player on the world stage”, has investments in 100 countries, and last year posted a global revenue of more than £9billion.
It has investments in a number of sectors, including property, medicine, financial services and entertainment.