US investment fund agrees to buy Everton Football Club
Everton Football Club, the top flight English team, has been sold to a US investment fund, it was announced on Friday.
Farhad Moshiri, the British-Iranian businessman who has owned the Premier League club since 2018, has agreed to sell his 94.1% stake to Miami-based 777 Partners.
Moshiri has been a shareholder in the loss-making club since 2016. But he said new investment was now required.
He said: "The nature of ownership and financing of top football clubs has changed immeasurably since I first invested in Everton seven years ago. The days of an owner/benefactor are seemingly out of reach for most.
"I have been open about the need to bring in new investment and complete the financing of our iconic new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, which I have predominantly financed to date.
"I believe  are the best partners to take our great club forward, with all the benefits of their multi-club investment model."
777 owns a number of football clubs worldwide, including Spain’s Sevilla, Standard de Liege in Belgium and Melbourne’s Victory FC. Everton is its first UK acquisition.
Josh Wander, founder and managing partner of 777, said: "Our primary objective is to work with fans and stakeholders to develop the sporting and commercial infrastructure for the men’s and women’s teams that will deliver results for further generations of Everton supporters."
Financial terms were not disclosed, although both sides said the investment would strengthen the club’s balance sheet and guarantee the funding of the new stadium.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approval from both the Premier League and Financial Conduct Authority.
A growing number of British football clubs are now owned or partially owned by American investors, including Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Crystal Palace.
Everton is currently lying 18th in the league, having narrowly avoided relegation last season.