Potential Newcastle United takeover investment blow as wait for deal clarity goes on

Newcastle United’s PCP Consortium takeover hopes could be dealt an investment blow with the news majority shareholder-in-waiting PIF are looking at Serie A giants Inter Milan.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 11:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 12:02 pm

The Gazette understands the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia have given their word to the consortium, also made up of the Reuben Brothers and PCP Capital Partners, they will return to the Newcastle United takeover process when a path to the deal is cleared. There are also understood to be other confidential financial guarantees between the three parties involved in the United deal.

But, with the process continuing to lag – legal red tape has the arbitration process moving at a snail’s pace – reports are emerging from Italy that PIF may turn their attentions elsewhere.

Inter Milan are believed to be up for sale, due to financial challenges facing owners Suning, who are said to be looking for suitable partners to invest in ‘I Nerazzurri’.

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Chairman of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Yasir al-Rumayyan speaks during the fourth edition of the FII conference at the capital Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton hotel on January 27, 2021. - Saudi Arabia opened a two-day Davos-style investment forum, with dozens of global policy makers and business tycoons lined up to speak at the largely virtual event amid the coronavirus pandemic. Only 200 of around 8,000 registered delegates attended in-person, while around 100 speakers are set to participate virtually with 50 present physically. Previous summits drew thousands of Wall Street titans and global policymakers.

Fortress Investment Group are said to lead the way, having already bid for Inter, while the Zhang family are also courting interest from the others, including PIF, who, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, are ‘interested’ in the club.

PIF were similarly linked to a bid for AS Roma in 2020, when the United deal stalled via the Premier League owners’ and directors’ test.

Despite assurances, the biggest fear to all involved in the deal is that PIF grow tired of the Newcastle deal and look elsewhere, with the kingdom keen to acquire a major sporting institution as jewel in the crown to their 2030 vision.

While United’s dealmakers are pushing ahead with the legal angles in their bid to prise a decision from the Premier League, arbitration, on its own, will not deliver a takeover.

Arbitration, being fought by Mike Ashley’s hired legal guns Nick DeMarco and Shaheed Fatima, if won, could see the ODT reapplied to parts of the deal where it is argued it was not done correctly. This could require a resubmission of the deal, either in whole or in part, in order for a decision then to be made.

The waiting has left Newcastle United fans disillusioned, especially with relegation trouble engulfing the landscape on Tyneside at present – and 53.1% of supporters who took our big survey were not confident the deal would eventually pass.

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