The consortium interested in buying Everton has spoken publicly for the first time since news of its proposed takeover leaked last month.
In a statement on Tuesday, the group led by former Chelsea and Manchester United executive Peter Kenyon and the Kaminski family reiterated their interest in buying the club, as well as their desire to continue talks.
Despite reports to the contrary and an exclusivity period for the consortium which ended last week, the group are maintaining their still valid offer and talks with Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri continued over the weekend. end.
“As a general rule, we prefer to conduct our affairs in private to create the fairest environment for those involved and, in this particular situation, to minimize uncertainty for Everton fans,” the statement read. “It is regrettable that this was not possible.
“We remain respectfully interested in acquiring the club as we believe its fans deserve nothing less than the best, and our offer to achieve this is valid.
“However, in consideration of all Everton fans, we will be making no further public comments at this time.”
Confused? Let’s try to clarify what is happening.
What happened last week?
The consortium’s exclusivity period expired early Friday.
This strict legal deadline, before which the consortium was able to exercise due diligence and speak exclusively to Moshiri, expired without an agreement.
Sources close to Moshiri insisted he has walked away from the talks and is focusing his efforts on improving the Everton squad and securing funding for their new stadium.
Yet some of these claims were quickly refuted by the Kaminski Consortium, which maintained lines of communication were still open with Moshiri.
The group remains hopeful that a deal can be salvaged and insists that talks, informal or otherwise, continue over the weekend.
What neither party disputes is that the period of exclusivity is over.
Moshiri is free to talk to other interested parties, but there’s no legal suggestion that the consortium can’t try to resuscitate the deal.
This seems unlikely, if not nearly impossible, given the extent to which confidence has begun to wane in the offer.
But, for now, the offer is still there if Moshiri changes his mind.
Is it then for the consortium? And what else should I know about his offer?
Never say never in football, but in all likelihood, yes.
There are those close to the offer who argue that the end of the exclusivity deal should not matter if the talks are still positive. Others, however, prefer to see it as a legal mechanism – a difficult deadline that highlights the lack of progress made in recent weeks.
Since Friday, the general sentiment has not changed much. The positions of Moshiri and the Kaminski group are the same today as they were then.
It started with a search for outside investment. Athleticism understands that the consortium was originally formed by a US bank to help fund Everton’s new stadium. Although it became clear as the talks progressed that Moshiri was willing to listen to offers to buy from the club, there was never a guarantee that he would sell to the first bidder. Or not at all.
For a month, the Kaminski group has been carrying out its due diligence, meeting in particular at the end of May with club personalities in Liverpool. The group are said to have valued Everton at around £500million, which includes the cost of remaining equity for the new stadium.
Sources have suggested this also takes into account the cost of a potential penalty if Everton have breached the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules. That issue, however, was resolved after Richarlison was sold to Tottenham for up to £60m, and there is a feeling that Burnley and Leeds’ legal threat to Everton’s financial situation has diminished.
Even in recent weeks, the landscape has changed dramatically.
Well-placed figures in investment circles wonder whether the door is really closed to potential buyers, as those close to Moshiri suggest. Although he did not accept the offers, he showed himself ready to listen under the right conditions.
Likewise, other hurdles that would have had a negative impact on Everton’s valuation, such as Burnley’s proposed legal challenge and the club’s financial fair play situation, now appear to have been lifted.
But financial problems persist. There’s a new stadium to fund (at a time when securing funding is particularly difficult), a squad that needs reinforcements (while cushioning heavy losses), and gaps to fill commercially following the suspension of sponsorships related to Alisher Usmanov.
It’s hard for one man to do it all.
Recent developments will only have served to highlight the opportunities for other interested parties.
What are Everton and Moshiri saying?
The final position taken by Moshiri is that talks with the Kaminski group are over and will not resume, regardless of the group’s willingness to continue.
The Everton owner was not looking to negotiate a takeover but agreed to listen when the Kenyon-led consortium asked to explore that option after initially coming to the table to discuss options for investing in the new stadium.
As Athleticism revealed last month, Moshiri has always insisted he would prefer to retain some shares of the club, preferably a significant minority, should ownership change hands.
Most of the details of what was leaked during negotiations over the exclusivity period remain private, but what is clear is that Moshiri was unconvinced by elements of Kaminski’s offer.
There wasn’t thought to be much of a difference between the two sides on their valuations of the club, but something caused Moshiri to turn his back – exactly what that was remains up for speculation from those on the periphery.
The facts are that the Everton owner has reaffirmed his commitment to help Kevin Thelwell and Frank Lampard strengthen the squad during this transfer window and help find the club’s funding for the new ground.
Moshiri may not be willing to speak with the Kaminskis any further, but he is open to taking the phone with new parties interested in the stadium project.
Whether he is persuaded to allow those talks to encompass another takeover remains unclear.
There are still believed to be other groups interested in buying Everton who have not formally come to the table, although that is unlikely to include any of the main players who lost. facing the Todd Boehly consortium which took over Chelsea.
It’s unclear to what extent new investors would be willing to simply fund the stadium, although the potential benefits are seen as compelling by the investment community.
Moshiri may be willing to consider selling a 30% stake in the club to investors, which would help fund the development of Bramley-Moore Dock while keeping the current board in place, possibly with the addition of a representative of any new investor.
But until the individuals convince him they are serious, the Everton owner considers it ‘business as usual’.
After a year of business being anything but business as usual, no one knows how long this status quo will last.
(Top photo: Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)