‘Czech Sphinx’ Kretinsky to buy big stake in West Ham United

‘Czech Sphinx’ Kretinsky to buy big stake in West Ham United

A Czech Republic-based billionaire who owns big stakes in Royal Mail and J Sainsbury is days away from a deal to buy a big stake in West Ham United Football Club which could lead to a full takeover.

Sky News has learned that Daniel Kretinsky, owner of top Czech squad Sparta Prague, is in advanced talks to acquire a 27% stake in the Premier League club.

The deal could be announced as early as the first weekend in November, when the Hammers face Liverpool in a top-of-the-table clash at the London Stadium.

The financiers said the deal should include an option to take full control of West Ham after an indefinite period.

The initial purchase of Mr Kretinsky’s stake is likely to value the club between £ 600 million and £ 700million, according to a person briefed on the transaction.

If he continued to take full control of West Ham, it would end the ten-year control of David Gold and David Sullivan, who acquired the club in 2010.

A view of West Ham Stadium in London

If confirmed, it would be the latest in a series of major deals involving Premier League clubs, following the controversial sale of Newcastle United to a consortium led by Saudi Arabia.

A minority stake in Wolverhampton Wanderers has also changed hands in recent weeks as clubs seek to strengthen their balance sheets in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Mr Kretinsky, who has assets in the energy, media, industrial and retail sectors, has become a significant player in UK businesses and now ranks as Royal’s largest shareholder Mail and the second from Sainsbury’s.

A spokesperson for Mr. Kretinsky has been contacted for comment.


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