Revealed! The Loh-ball Newcastle United takeover offer to Mike Ashley

The Bellagraph Nova Group have Loh-balled Mike Ashley with their initial purchase offer for Newcastle United.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 12:54 pm
A picture provided by the BN Group, showing former US president Barack Obama with the company's three founder members.

The Gazette understands the group, brought to the table by former Magpies striker Michael Chopra, have offered the Sports Direct tycoon £280 million, which falls below the £300 million deal agreed with PCP Capital Partners, PIF and Reuben Brothers, and significantly below the amount Ashley hopes he can raise for the club – £340 million.

And despite reports to the contrary, the BN Group, co-founded by Evangeline Shen and cousins Nelson and Terence Loh, are yet to receive official confirmation their bid has been rejected from Dentons – the law firm dealing with Ashley’s sale.

A source close to the deal claims the ‘ball is in Ashley’s court’ when it comes to whether the deal will progress, with proof of funds shown last week.

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Newcastle United's English owner Mike Ashley (C) reacrs ahead of the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Watford at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on November 3, 2018.

The group – whose interest was exclusively revealed by the Gazette on Saturday – claim they have ‘ticked every box’ when it comes to the deal, having snapped into action following the pull out of the Reubens, PIF and PCP.

The BN Group bid makers believe they are the only deal in town when it comes to the Newcastle United takeover – backed up by their understanding the Saudi finance for the PCP deal now looks unlikely to return. As of last week, the Gazette understands all three parties involved in the Saudi consortium remain committed to buying United, but compromises must be made on both sides for any deal to progress.

It’s understood the BN Group, which describes itself as a “leading player on the world stage”, are committed to brokering a deal, and could return with an improved offer if their first ‘initial’ sounding is knocked back.

The group has investments in 100 countries, and last year posted a global revenue of more than £9 billion. It has investments in a number of sectors, including property, medicine, financial services and entertainment, as well as offices in Paris and a number of Far East countries.

In a company mission statement, seen by the Gazette, Ms Shen, discussing the group’s values, said: “Our group has the means to really strive for excellence, for the exceptional, and for the perfection; thus, we should keep those standards at their highest at all times.”

In the same document, Terence Loh echoes that sentiment.

He said: “It is absolutely not by giving customers what they ask for that we satisfy their needs and expectations, but by excelling and surprising them through our creation of a tailored dream they can emotionally connect with.”

Loh continues: “We go beyond. We create something consumers can’t see. A need they are not even aware they want. Something that beats their expectations and will brighten their future.”

A source close to the bid claims the multi-national company not only wish to invest in Newcastle United, but also in the city, the charities and foundations that serve it and open doors and provide opportunities for underprivileged children in the region.

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