Takeover of Newcastle: consortium backed by Saudi Arabia withdraws

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The proposed £ 300million Newcastle buyout has been 80% funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund

A consortium backed by Saudi Arabia has ended its offer to buy Newcastle United.

The group, which included Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund PIF, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers, had struck a £ 300million deal to buy the club from Mike Ashley in April.

The deal was still being reviewed as part of the Premier League owners and directors test and it is understood that PIF ran out of patience.

PIF said it was with “deep sadness” that he left.

“With deep appreciation for the Newcastle community and the importance of its football club, we have made the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United Football Club,” the group said in a statement to Sky Sports.

“In the end, during the unpredictable and protracted process, the business deal between the investment group and the club owners expired and our investment thesis could not stand. ”

As the BBC revealed this week, the Premier League was asking for clarification on PIF’s ties to the Saudi state.

The president of the PIF is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and it appears that Premier League lawyers have struggled to establish the precise links between the consortium and the Saudi government.

PIF felt he received as much assurances as possible about an appropriate distance between PIF and the Saudi state.

The economic environment and the prospect of a second wave of coronavirus – and the threat of limited fans in the stadiums – were also deemed unnecessary.

More soon.

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