Everton: Farhad Moshiri holds 777 meetings amid takeover uncertainty

Everton: Farhad Moshiri holds 777 meetings amid takeover uncertainty
Everton: Farhad Moshiri holds 777 meetings amid takeover uncertainty

Image source, gettyimages

Image caption, Everton owner Farhad Moshiri (right) sat alongside 777 Partners co-owner Josh Wander (left) during the game at West Ham earlier this season
Article information
  • Author, Shamoon Hafez
  • Role, BBC football news reporter
  • 8 hours ago

Everton majority owner Farhad Moshiri has held meetings with prospective buyer 777 Partners as uncertainty grows around the protracted takeover.

Miami-based investment firm 777 agreed to purchase Moshiri’s 94% stake in the club last September, but there are fears the deal could now collapse.

The takeover is yet to be ratified by the Premier League, who have set four conditions for 777 to meet before giving the green light.

777 has endured financial strike in the last couple of weeks and the Times has reported Moshiri is considering terminating the agreement.

BBC Sport understands Moshiri and his representatives have spoken to counterparts at 777 to obtain a clearer picture of the situation.

777 have declined to comment.

Meanwhile, groups linked to Everton are becoming increasingly agitated and have spoken out against the takeover.

The Everton Shareholders’ Association (EFCSA) has called for an end to the “farce” of the takeover, saying it has become “increasingly clear that a fit-for-purpose process cannot possibly take this long.”

Everton’s Fan Advisory Board (FAB) wants the Premier League to dismiss 777’s takeover bid and to “allow discussions with more suitable owners” to take place.

British-Iranian businessman Moshiri is scheduled to meet FAB for talks after the end of the current season.

On the pitch Sean Dyche’s side have guaranteed themselves top-flight survival, lying in 15th place with two games to play, 11 points above the relegation zone – despite the club being deducted eight points for two breaches of Premier League financial rules.

What were the conditions imposed by the Premier League?

Almost eight months on, talks continue as 777 aims to satisfy the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test and show it can provide evidence of where the money is coming from, plus give proof of adequate funds for three years of the business plan.

777 co-owner Josh Wander met with the Premier League in an attempt to push the deal through. The specific pre-conditions put in place include:

  • Repaying a £158m loan owed to MSP Capital and two local businessmen
  • Convert £200m of 777’s loans to Everton into equity
  • Inject £60m for day-to-day operational costs to complete the season
  • Fund about £100m for the completion of the club’s new stadium

What has happened in the last 10 days?

777 had initially aimed to complete its takeover before Christmas but that was pushed back to February, and it is now hoping to get the green light by the end of May.

Now the deal has been thrown into peril after developments in other parts of the 777 business came to light.

On Monday, football publication Josimar reported the two main creditors of 777 in Belgium are asking for the seizure of all assets held by the firm in the country after they allege that 777 defaulted on payment deadlines.

On the same day, Belgian publication Le Soir reported 777-owned club Standard Liege’s players had not been paid for April and claimed that they will not receive payment until the end of the season.

Both claims have been verified by BBC Sport.

London-based Leadenhall Capital Partners LLP and Leadenhall Life Insurance Linked Investments Fund PLC claim Wander and 777 ‘pledged’ more than $350m (£279m) in assets as collateral for a credit facility agreement, but alleged that they knew they “did not exist ” or were “not actually owned by Wander’s entities.”

Last week, 777 eventually sent a delayed payment of £16m to Everton for day-to-day operational costs – which takes the total it has slowed the club to more than £200m – while an airline it owns entered voluntary administration.

Meanwhile, the firm’s UK public relations advisers have stopped representing the company after saying the firm did not meet payments on fees, and it remains to be seen whether they will re-engage.

 
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