Everton call in insolvency specialists as new doubts circle 777’s ability to complete takeover

May 1 – Everton’s protracted takeover by 777 Partners has been thrown further into doubt by the club calling in a leading firm of restructuring and insolvency advisers.

Teneo have reportedly been tasked with finding an alternative buyer to 777 Partners should they fail to come up with the cash to buy the club.

The move came while the club were believed to be waiting for a further £15 million of loans that 777 had pledged to provide Everton with during April.

A £15 million loan would take the amount the club have borrowed from the American firm to more than £200 million during the seven months since it was announced it was acquiring Everton which has just secured its Premier League survival after a torrid season.

That money is understood to be required to meet the wage bill, while a portion of it is earmarked for the continued construction of the club’s new stadium. 777 partners said that it had provided the club with enough working capital to meet immediate needs but did not say how much.

However, 777 appears to be experiencing further financial difficulties, with its budget airline Bonza having entered voluntary administration in Australia.

The developments raise questions about how long the Everton owner, Farhad Moshiri, can retain control of the club, only a month after assuring fans that 777’s takeover was  entering the “home straight”.

As part of the Premier League’s conditions to approve the deal, 777 has to repay a £158 million loan Moshiri took out with MSP Capital and two Merseyside businessmen, Andy Bell and George Downing.

The deadline for that expired two weeks ago but 777 has agreed an extension of “weeks, not months”.

777, founded by businessmen Josh Wander and Steve Pasko, has insisted it is confident of passing the Premier League’s owners and directors’ test.

It owns or has stakes in a host of other clubs, including Vasco da Gama, Standard Liege, Genoa, Sevilla and Hertha Berlin.

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