Everton deal on a knife-edge as 777 Partners struggles to repay £160m loan

April 17 – The investor trying to take control of Everton has pushed back its target date for completing the deal as it scrambles to raise hundreds of millions of pounds to fund the deal.

The takeover of the struggling Premier League club by 777 Partners remains on a knife edge after a last-gasp extension was granted over the repayment of a £160 million loan to allay fears the club could be plunged into administration.

The Miami-based investor has built a club ownership portfolio including Serie A’s Genoa, Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga and Vasco da Gama in Brazil. Those acquisitions were funded by 777 Re, a Bermuda-based reinsurer, but doubts exist over whether there is enough finance to support the Everton acquisition.

Sky reports 777 Partners has told stakeholders, including the Premier League and prospective lenders, that it now expects its takeover of the Toffees to be finalised late next month. It had been seeking to close the deal by the end of this week.

The Premier League has approved the takeover in principle but has stipulated a number of conditions which must be fulfilled in order for it to proceed. Among them is that 777 deposits £60 million into an escrow account for use by the club, and that it converts about £160 million of loans into equity.

Everton have been owned for years by Farhad Moshiri, a British-Iranian businessman who has pumped an estimated £750 million into the club which has endured a particularly turbulent season because of two separate points deductions imposed by the Premier League for breaching Profit and Sustainability Rules.

Last month Moshiri assured fans that the new deal was in the “home straight”.

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