777 Partners close in on Everton deal as Moshiri runs for exit and questions asked of Wander

September 13 – Premier League Everton are close to finalising a sale to Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners for a sum understood to be about £100-150 million.

Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri (pictured) has been keen to offload the club with 777 Partners now taking pole position for a takeover following the end of a period of exclusivity with New York firm MSP Sports Capital.

The MSP deal was reportedly for £130 million with a further funding commitment required for the build of Everton’s new Bramley Moor Dock stadium. MSP are continuing with a £100 million loan to the club.

777 Partners’ have $12 billion in funds under management and in football have built their portfolio around a multi-club model that includes ownership stakes in Genoa, Standard Liege, Vasco da Gama, Red Star FC and Hertha Berlin.

The firm, who also have investments across other sectors such as aviation, are seeking to raise funds for the continued growth and development of their football operations, with 777 co-founder Josh Wander.

Moshiri, a British-Iranian businessman but whose fortune has been built around the business of Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, has pumped an estimated £750 million into Everton since 2016.

But while the money has flowed, Everton have fumbled with Moshiri unable to get a management grip of the club that was still very much in the control of chairman Bill Kenwright, despite Kenwright having sold his stake in Everton in 2016.

With the team struggling on the pitch and a board unable to find a pathway to success, more money has been provided with Everton now having an unsustainable wages-to-turnover ratio of 90%. The knock-on effect for a stadium project that was reporting a cost overrun has created uncertainty.

777 Partners’ football club investments have yet to come good but the addition of a Premier League club could be the game-changer for their investment model – assuming Everton can cling on to their Premier League status.

777 Partners co-founder Josh Wander has cut a controversial figure in the media over a past that saw him convicted for smuggling cocaine as a student. But he is adamant that he is investing in football for the opportunity it provides investors.

“The vision for this football group is that one day we’re not selling hot dogs and beers to our customers; (it’s) that we’re selling insurance or financial services or whatever,” said Wander.

First Everton need to secure their Premier League status and provide a platform for the rest of the business. They are currently winless in the Premier League having taken just one point from their opening four games leaving them in 18 in the table. They face Arsenal at the weekend.

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