The Newcastle United takeover and St James's Park expansion 'red herring'

The mystery Leazes Terrace purchase by a ‘Middle Eastern fund’ is NOT related to the Newcastle United takeover or potential majority shareholders, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

It has been confirmed to the Gazette there is no link between the sale of the Grade I listed building and the ongoing stalled buyout of the Magpies, which looks set to hit the courts after the Premier League failed to make a decision when asked to ratify the £300m PIF, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers purchase.

The, what appears to be, coincidental purchase of the buildings – intrinsically linked to any future expansion plans at St James’s Park – sent social media into overdrive when fans picked up on the sale from Union Property Services Ltd’s website.

It read: “Union Property Services Ltd today announced the sale of 315 bed student accommodation at Leazes Terrace in Newcastle upon Tyne to a middle eastern fund, for an undisclosed sum.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12: Supporters of Newcastle United walk on the Leazes side of the ground ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St James' Park on February 12, 2014 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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“Comprising 258 bedrooms and 57 studios, Union Property purchased the Grade I listed building from Newcastle University in 2019, before embarking on a refurbishment programme, to modernise the accommodation to perfectly match current student expectations.

“Conveniently located within 4 minutes walk of Newcastle University’s main campus and in very close proximity to Northumbria University, accommodation within the development has also been opened up to the young professional market, diversifying the investment potential for the site.

“Raj Sehgal, Director of Union Property said: ‘It’s fantastic news that we’ve been able to agree this deal, particularly in the current environment. Newcastle is our home city and has always been a very strong market for us. Freshly remodelled, Leazes Terrace is a great product at a competitive price point, which has already been a real hit with the student body. The new owner has seized on a fantastic opportunity in the North East’s investment market’.

“The refurbishment work was carried out by Ryecroft Holdings Ltd as a Joint Venture arrangement with Union Property Property Services Ltd.”

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The buyers of the estate have not been revealed, nor, of course, have their motives – but for a short time, at least, this development added some takeover intrigue as the consortium continue to chase their dream of owning the football club placed just yards away from the newly-purchased student dwellings.

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