Iranian-American billionaire Jahm Najafi ‘is lining up a £3bn takeover of Tottenham with a bid expected in WEEKS’ as he becomes the latest US tycoon to target Premier League riches
- Billionaire Jahm Najafi is preparing a $3.75bn takover bid for Tottenham Hotspur
- The Iranian-American is working with a consortium to finalise the bid’s structure
- The group is expected to approach the Spurs hierarchy in the coming weeks
Iranian-American billionaire Jahm Najafi is reportedly preparing a group of investors to launch a $3.75bn (£3.1bn) takeover bid for Tottenham, according to two people with direct knowledge of the plans.
The Financial Times report that Najafi – who is chair of MSP Sports Capital – is working with a consortium to prepare the structure of the huge bid and the group is expected to approach Spurs owner Joe Lewis and chairman Daniel Levy in the coming weeks.
The bid is set to be factored so that Najafi and MSP would put forward 70 per cent of the capital, while others would contribute the remaining 30 per cent – with these backers likely to come from the Gulf, and particularly Abu Dhabi.
A £3.1bn bid for the club consists of the club’s equity being valued at approximately £2.5bn, before adding about £610m of the club’s current debts.
The news is likely to be welcomed by Spurs fans as it would see the end of the unpopular ownership of ENIC.
Iranian-American billionaire Jahm Najafi is reportedly preparing a group of investors to launch a £3.1bn takeover bid for Tottenham
The group is expected to approach Spurs’ hierarchy including Daniel Levy in the coming weeks
Najafi (C) pictured in November 2008 at the Bookspan Literary celebration in New York
ENIC is connected to Lewis and Levy and they purchased a 26 per cent from Lord Alan Sugar for £21.9m back in 2000.
Their time in charge of the club has been praised for the development of a new stadium, efficient financial management and Spurs regularly qualifying for the Champions League and finishing in the top echelons of the Premier League.
However, with the club’s last title being a League Cup in 2008, Spurs fans have become increasingly frustrated at what they perceive is a lack of ambition from the ownership and there have been increasing protests against the club’s hierarchy in recent times.
Levy is the face of the club, with Lewis a silent owner and based out in the Bahamas.
MSP – which was founded by former sports agent Jeff Moorad and Najafi – previously considered making an investment in Everton and held initial discussions.
Najafi was even photographed at Goodison Park for last month’s game against Southampton, which was notable for the fact Everton’s board of directors had been advised to stay away owing to threats to their security.
The Najafi-led group’s desire to purchase the club has reportedly been enhanced by the potential real estate and development rights that would be possible through ownership.
A key part of the club’s development over recent years has been the diversification of income for the club, with the stadium hosting concerns, NFL games and even heavyweight boxing fights, among other high-profile events.
Najafi would become the latest US billionaire to join the ranks of Premier League owners after both Chelsea and Bournemouth were taken over by American owners last year.
The 60-year-old – who moved to the US from Iran at the age of 12 – graduated with a Masters in Business Economics from Harvard University after he had previously completed a BA in Economics and Development Studies from the University of California.
Involvement at Tottenham wouldn’t be his first foray into sport, with Najafi a vice-chair of NBA side Phoenix Suns, while he is also a governor on the board of the NBA.
He also has a stake in the McLaren F1 team, after he invested in collaboration with MSP and UBS O’Connor LLC.
They originally invested $248.5m which gave them a 15 per cent shareholding, which had since increased to 33 per cent by the end of 2022 and he is vice-chairman of McLaren Racing.
In terms of his business profile, the 60-year-old has acquired more than 30 businesses during his carer.
Najafi is CEO and owner of Najafi Companies, a private investment and equity firm that has involvements in sports, media, technology, consumer and real estate throughout the world.
They tend to invest in lower-profile or fastly-changing sectors and are high selective on what companies they put their money into.
Back in 2021, Najafi’s net worth was valued at $3.5bn (£2.9bn).
In terms of his personal story Najafi arrived in the US from Iran at the age of 12 without speaking any English and taught himself by watching TV, including the NBA – which started his love for the sport.
He has not forgotten his humble beginnings, with Najafi serving on several philanthropic boards and civic organisations.
The businessman also founded Social Venture Partners Arizona which is another philanthropic fund, while he also formed Mission Advancement which outlined his commitment to diversity and equality.
Along with his wife Cheryl, he committed $10m to the NBA Foundation to help push to drive ‘economic empowerment for Black communities through employment and career advancement’.
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