Three bids by groups led by British property developer Nick Candy, Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family and the pairing of Martin Broughton and Sebastian Coe have been made to purchase English Premier League club Chelsea.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sanctions were imposed on the oligarch by the British government, effectively giving it control of the club. The famous soccer club were initially put up for sale by Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
As per reports, Raine Group, a U.S. bank, has been overseeing the sale process since before the Russian billionaire was sanctioned, and set a 2100 GMT deadline on Friday for offers to be submitted.
Till the deadline, three bids have been officially placed.
Meanwhile, South Korean companies Hana Financial Group and C&P Sports Limited have joined forces with Candy to bid two billion pounds ($2.64 billion) for Chelsea, Candy said in a statement on Friday. The statement also revealed that the consortium also includes “significant investors from Silicon Valley and tech billionaires that own other shareholdings in sports teams in the USA.”
“Football clubs are vitally important community and cultural assets, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give football back to the fans and put them at the heart of the operations and strategy of a leading global football club,” Reuters quoted Candy in a statement.
Earlier, Reuters had confirmed that C&P Sports CEO Catalina Kim and Hana were considering a bid.
“We are in the process of arranging our bid for Chelsea FC,” a statement read.
“Surprisingly enough, despite the size of the economy, there has never been investment into (English) Premier League football clubs made by South Korean capital so far. Now it is time for a change and we are ready to start the new chapter with Chelsea FC,” it added.
Meanwhile, former British Airways chairman Broughton had joined president of World Athletics Coe to become the third party to make an offer for the bid.
“I am assembling a team that will ensure the future success and financial stability of a club I’ve supported for over 60 years,” Broughton said in a statement.
“We will secure a prompt purchase and smooth transition, with funds readily available for the immediate takeover of the club and immediate investment in the team, facilities, and commercial opportunities. I believe I am the right person to lead Chelsea as we start this new chapter for the club,” it added.
On the other hand, Turkish businessman Muhsin Bayrak, who had previously expressed interest in the club, later clarified that his company AB Group Holding had not filed a bid to Raine Bank.