Newcastle and Amanda Staveley in advanced talks over £350m takeover

Newcastle United and Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners in advanced talks over £350m takeover to bring controversial SportsDirect owner Mike Ashley’s reign to an end

  • Newcastle United and Amanda Staveley are in talks over a £350m takeover
  • The deal will see owner Mike Ashley lend £150m in a bid to finally get a deal done
  • Offer is a £200m payment up front with £150m over a period of up to five years  
  • Staveley tried to buy the club in 2017 but was labelled a ‘time-waster’ by Ashley

Newcastle United and Amanda Staveley are in advanced talks over a £350million takeover of the Premier League club.

Documents lodged with Companies House last week and made public on Tuesday show that a charge has been created that could see Mike Ashley lend £150m to Staveley’s company PCP Capital Partners.

Sportsmail has been told that the deal on the table is a £200m payment up front with the balance of £150m over a period of up to five years. The new documents appear to be laying the legal framework for such a deal to proceed. 

Newcastle United and Amanda Staveley are in advanced talks over a £350million takeover

A document registered with Companies House confirms that formal discussions have started

Sources close to the club say the documents are evidence of talks being at an advanced stage but there is yet to be confirmation of a takeover being agreed.

Staveley tried to buy the club in 2017 only to be labelled a ‘time-waster’ by Ashley. 

However, she has been in fresh talks since last year and there were claims in January that a deal backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) was only days away.

Amanda Staveley is understood to be one of the driving forces behind the possible takeover

Sources on Ashley’s side told us earlier this month that he is willing to sell if Staveley’s consortium – also including the Reuben brothers, UK-based property developers – produced the cash to do a deal. 

The documents also show that a deposit of £13m either has – or will – be paid by Staveley as part of the proposed transaction.

Ashley, as of June 2019, was owed £111m by the club. It has been suggested to us that Staveley’s group could take on that debt and, in effect, that could be included in the £150m charge created. 

There have been a number of failed takeover attempts in recent years at St James’ Park

An old flame of Prince Andrew and a major player in the 2008 takeover of Manchester City… who is Amanda Staveley? 

It should come as little surprise that Staveley, with plenty of Middle Eastern contacts – and past experience in taking over a club – is willing to pay £350m to purchase Newcastle.

Her investment fund PCP Capital Partners is backed by, as of 2017, £28billion from the Middle East and China and she is one of the financial world’s most powerful players. 

Staveley was in a relationship with Prince Andrew, Duke of York and she apparently turned down a marriage proposal in 2003.

Amanda Staveley, pictured in November 2019, is in advanced talks over a £350m takeover of Newcastle United

In 2011 she married Mehrdad Ghodoussi, an Iranian who worked with her at her company, in a lavish ceremony in West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire. The couple have a child together – Alexander, nicknamed Lexi, born in 2014.

Staveley is not new to sport, having been well involved in the horse racing world. Like football, their owners have the largest of bank balances.

When in her twenties, she took out a £180,000 loan to buy a restaurant named Stocks near Cambridge and Newmarket racecourse. It was regularly visited by trainers and owners, giving her an opportunity to make the contacts she craved. Her entrepreneurial career was on its way.

She lived for banking and business, and started to get involved in the financial world. From there, it snowballed.

An old flame of Prince Andrew, Staveley is said to have rejected a marriage proposal from the Duke of York in 2003

Staveley first met Prince Andrew in the United Arab Emirates during a visit as part of his role as a trade ambassador, in 2001. Her relationship with the prince blossomed quickly and was mutually beneficial in many ways. As trade envoy, Prince Andrew could open doors to the contacts she craved.

In 2003, the Prince, who was said to be besotted by her, popped the question. But Amanda struggled to envisage herself idling away her hours with official duties and being unable to speak her mind.

And so she turned to the Middle East to use her skills as a negotiator and broker deals to amass a princely sum.

In 2005, she set up the Dubai-based private equity company PCP Capital Partners, which soon secured international deals for clients in Qatar and the UAE. 

The company’s role is varied. Sometimes they lobby on political issues; occasionally they simply bring powerful people together or act as intermediaries in complex negotiations. Her contacts book is, without doubt, formidable. 

Staveley was involved in the takeover of Manchester City by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan in 2008 that led to a huge shift in English football

In 2008, at the age of 35, Staveley was involved in the takeover of Manchester City by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan. That reportedly saw her take home £10m and she was labelled by some newspapers as ‘the new Queen of British football’. 

Staveley also came close to joining the Liverpool board when Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai was linked with buying the Merseyside club.

Weeks after helping in the City takeover in 2008, Staveley brokered a deal that saw billions of pounds of Middle Eastern money put into Barclays.

Her slice of the pie from that deal was £40m for her firm, with Staveley reportedly keeping a significant sum for herself.

Now, with talks at an advanced stage, could she finally be the person to unlock Newcastle’s potential?

Additional reporting by Kieran Gill

Staveley, pictured at Anfield in 2008, also brokered a deal that saw billions of pounds of Middle Eastern money put into Barclays in 2008

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