Market Loop - New owners agreed for Chelsea

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9th May 2022

Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
Good morning WhatsApp users across the globe are being treated to a raft of new features. The messaging app announced a blockbuster new release which includes being able to create emoji reactions, send much larger files and – for the very popular – create groups of over 500 people.
Today's stories
  • New owners agreed for Chelsea 
  • Morrisons and Asda-owner compete for McColl’s supermarket 
New owners agreed for Chelsea

What happened
After what has been called the  “highest-profile, fastest, and most complex sports team sale ever”, a consortium of investors led by American businessman Todd Boehly have been confirmed as the new owners of Chelsea FC in a deal worth £4.25bn. 

As a reminder
The club was put up for sale in March after its owner of 19 years, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, came under pressure to dispose of his UK assets due to his association with the Russian regime following its invasion of Ukraine.

Everyone wanted to own the Blues
The auction drew interest from billionaire-led groups in the UK, US and Middle East including:
  • A group of investors led by Sir Martin Broughton, the former chairman of Liverpool FC and sports stars Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams. 
  • Consortium of ex-players, including John Terry, as well as British entrepreneurs and fans.
  • British billionaire and owner of chemical company Ineos, Jim Ratcliffe, who probably didn’t help his case by submitting his bid weeks after the deadline.
So who are the new owners
Boehly is reportedly worth $4.5bn and made his money investing in tech, media and property businesses. He already owns stakes in the three Los Angeles based sports teams – Dodgers (baseball), Sparks (women’s basketball) and Lakers (men’s basketball).

The numbers involved are substantial
Abramovich bought the club for £140m but he’s said proceeds from the sale will go to victims of the war in Ukraine. He’s also stated that won’t be asking for the £1.5bn loan he gave to the club to repaid. The £4.25bn winning bid breaks down as follows:
  • £2.5bn for the shares will go towards charitable causes. 
  • £1.75bn in further investment in Chelsea’s stadium and training academy.
Certain terms have reportedly been included to protect the club from a financial standpoint:
  • Barring them from paying dividends or management fees until 2032
  • Prohibiting sale of any shares in the club for 10 years
  • Agreeing to strict limits on the level of debt taken on
What happens next
The final stage will be for the Premier League and UK government to give their seal of approval before rubber-stamping the deal.
Other stories to keep you in the loop
  • House prices hit new record but growth set to slow
  • British Airways cuts flights as it struggles to rehire after axing 10,000 staff
  • EasyJet to tackle staff shortages by removing seats from planes
  • US job creation beats forecasts despite headwinds
  • Peloton reportedly looks to sell up to a 20% stake amid struggles
Morrisons and Asda-owner compete for McColl’s supermarket 

What happened
On Friday convenience chain McColl’s confirmed that it had gone bust and over the weekend a tussle to takeover the group ensued between Morrisons and EG Group, the owner of Asda.

Why has McColl’s failed?
The company has over 1,100 stores across the UK and employs 16,000 people.  Like many retailers, the group was hit hard by the pandemic, suffering with supply chain issues, inflation and with a heavy £170m debt burden, it simply ran out of cash. 

Why are Morrisons and EG Group interested in buying it?
EG Group are said to be the favourites to buy McColl’s as they look to expand their retail empire which already includes Asda and petrol stations in the UK as well as fast food outlets in Europe, the US and Australia

Morrisons and McColl's have been partners for five years with McColl's operating hundreds of convenience shops under the Morrisons Daily brand. Morrisons claimed its rescue proposal for McColl's would secure the future of the majority of its shops and workers.

What happens next?
According to Sky News, PwC who are advising the banks who have lent to McColl’s, are preparing to ask EG Group and Morrisons for best and final offers today.
Stat of the day

A recent survey found the average Brit is sitting on £2,500 of unused household items
Interesting links from around the web
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