The Ricketts family, the sole owners of the Chicago Cubs, have expressed an interest in buying Liverpool FC from Fenway Sports Group, an insider has claimed, as the bidding war for the Reds consists mainly of American investors.
US-based investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are helping with the sale after it was revealed that the collapse of the proposal for a European Super League and the $5 billion sale of Chelsea to Todd Boehly were part of the reasons for FSG’s new stance on to listen to offers, although the consortium may still continue to be responsible for the club as any deal is still at an exploratory stage.
Similar to the four American frontmen who were interested in buying the Blues from Roman Abramovich before they were eventually sold to Clearlake Capital in May, there is “strong American interest” in the Reds.
Among the suitors is the Rickets family, who were also in contention to buy Chelsea and sought ownership of Tottenham Hotspur, according to The Times.
“There have recently been a number of ownership changes and rumors of ownership changes at EPL clubs and inevitably we regularly receive questions about Fenway Sports Group’s ownership in Liverpool,” Fenway Sports Group, which also owns the Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Penguins, said in a statement.
Thomas S. ‘Tom’ Ricketts, chairman and owner of the Cubs (back) is seen with his brother Todd Ricketts, who at one point was Trump’s assistant secretary of commerce from 2016 to 2017, in the East Room of the White House for a ceremony honoring MLB- the team’s 2016 World Series title
John W. Henry (second left) and his wife, Linda Pizzuti Henry (far right) and Tom Werner (third from left), owner of Liverpool Football Club with Billy Hogan (far left), CEO of Liverpool with the EFL Carabao Cup trophy at Wembley Stadium in February 2022 in London
Liverpool were valued at $4.48 billion by Forbes at the end of the 2021-2022 season in May
“FSG has frequently received expressions of interest from third parties looking to become shareholders in Liverpool. FSG has previously said that under the right conditions we would consider new shareholders if it was in Liverpool’s best interests as a club. FSG remains fully committed to Liverpool’s success, both on and off the field.’
The Ricketts family, worth an estimated $3.7 billion, according to Forbes, rose to success after family patriarch Joe Ricketts founded brokerage firm TD Ameritrade in 1975. As of 2019, the 81-year-old has a net worth of $2.7 billion, according to Forbes.
Joe’s son, Thomas, is currently the Cubs chairman since 2009 after purchasing the MLB team for an estimated $900 million. He is also the chairman and founder of Incapital LLC., a Chicago-based firm that has provided investment firms and individual investors with more efficient access to corporate bonds since 1999.
Along with his sister Laura and brothers Pete and Todd, Thomas shares ownership of the Cubs through their family trust and the franchise has won a World Series in 2016 during their tenure. Tom’s net worth is currently $2.3 billion as of 2018 according to Forbes.
Chicago Cubs owner Thomas S. Ricketts celebrates with The Commissioner’s Trophy after the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series. The Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years at the time
Joe Ricketts built his family’s wealth from the foundation of brokerage firm TD Ameritrade in 1975. He is worth $2.7 billion, as of 2019, according to Forbes
Forbes also reports that the Ricketts family is worth an estimated $3.7 billion, as of 2022
US-based investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are helping with the sale of Liverpool after it was revealed that the collapse of the proposal for a European Super League and the $5bn sale of Chelsea to Todd Boehly in May prompted the owners to consider bids
Under FSG, Liverpool have re-established themselves as one of the leading clubs in Europe and won their first English league title in 30 years in 2020.
Manager Jurgen Klopp has also helped the club win the Champions League, Club World Cup, FA Cup and League Cup since his appointment in 2015. But he has spoken publicly about the difficulty of challenging Abu Dhabi-backed Manchester City in the transfer market and the recent sale of Newcastle United to Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
“Nobody can compete with City in this,” Klopp said last month. ‘You have the best team in the world and you put the best striker (Erling Haaland) on the market. No matter what it costs, you just do it. . . . What are Liverpool doing? We cannot act like them. It is not possible.’
Liverpool were valued at $4.48 billion by Forbes at the end of the 2021-2022 season (in May) after being bought by FSG for $345 million in 2010. The Reds could be sold for more than the current valuation if an auction were to take off .
Depending on the size of the bids to buy the Merseyside club, FSG could then assess the value of a minority stake, should it decide to sell just one percent of the team, reports The Times.
A group interested in acquiring Chelsea led by former British Airways and Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton, and backed by Brazilian business magnate Michael Klein, who owns popular South American department store chain Casas Bahia, has close links to Liverpool.
The two investment bankers were involved in the Reds’ sale to FSG in 2010 from former American owner George Gillet Jr. and Tom Hicks.
A group interested in acquiring Chelsea in May and led by former British Airways and Liverpool chairman Sir Martin Broughton (left), as well as Brazilian business magnate Michael Klein (right), who owns the popular South American department store chain, Casas Bahia, may be in contention to buy the Reds
Gerry Cardinale, chief executive of Redbird Capital Partners, and his investment firm own a 10 percent stake in Liverpool after it was sold to them for $625 million last year
Last year, Fenway sold a 10 percent stake in the club for $625 million to RedBird Capital Partners – an American private equity firm founded by Gerry Cardinale and with shares held in AC Milan, the Red Sox and the Yankees. The firm manages $7.5 billion in equity, according to GlobeNewswire.
At the time of the transaction, FSG was valued at $5.76 billion but suffered losses due to the economic impact of the pandemic when the consortium raised its debt after borrowing from itself, instead of throwing its bets into the crisis.
However, the Boston-based group remain adamant that it “remains fully committed to Liverpool’s success, both on and off the pitch” for now.
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