A possible takeover of Premier League side Newcastle United by a group fronted by British financier Amanda Staveley with Saudi Arabian backing appeared to be moving closer to completion on Tuesday.
A 31-page charge agreement filed with Companies House and signed by Staveley for PCP Capital Partners and a lawyer for St James Holdings Ltd indicated a framework for a deal was being put in place.
There was no mention in it, however, of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) which has previously been reported as the prospective majority shareholder. Media reports stated the group will take an 80 percent shareholding should the deal go through.
British billionaire Mike Ashley, who made his fortune from sportswear retailer Sports Direct (Frasers Group), has owned United since 2007.
Sky Sports television said the asking price was understood to have dropped to around 300 million pounds from a previous 340 million, with Ashley willing to structure payments. The reduction would reflect the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic that has halted most soccer worldwide.
Newcastle are one of three Premier League clubs to have furloughed staff.
The north-east club has been on the market for several years and talks with Staveley’s PCP have been going on behind the scenes for some time.