Liverpool sale: Reds ‘in discussions’ with USA buyer as Saudi Arabia and Qatar make takeover moves

The interest from the Middle East is thought to be from private consortiums rather than state owned companies.
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Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) have entered into takeover talks with a trio of potential buyers over a £3billion sale of the Premier League club.

The Reds have held discussions with two Middle East-based consortiums as well as a US-based buyer whose identity is yet to be officially confirmed.

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However, Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has said that FSG could yet remain in control for “quite a while”. In his first public comments on the matter, Werner told the Boston Globe: “We’re exploring a sale but there’s no urgency, no time frame for us, and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s business as usual. One outcome could be our continued stewardship for quite a while.”

FSG, then New England Sports Ventures, bought Liverpool for £300million in 2010. Forbes now values the club at around £3.68bn, and a weak pound currently makes the Premier League club more attractive to overseas investors.

The Daily Mail report that representatives from Saudi Arabia and Qatar have approached FSG director Mike Gordon - who is overseeing the sale of the club in place of principal owner John W Henry - to register their interest.

The discussions are thought to be with private companies rather than state-owned entities, although they do have close links to the ruling families of the Middle East countries.

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Saudi Arabia’s sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal has revealed he would support Saudi bids for either Liverpool or Manchester United, who are also up for sale.

“We will definitely support it if any [Saudi] private sector comes in, because we know that’s going to reflect positively on sports within the kingdom,” he told the BBC.

FSG are looking to sell the Reds after 11 years, whilst the Glazers are poised to call time on their ownership at Old Trafford following opposition from their fans over recent times.

The interest in Liverpool from the anonymous US buyer has been rumbling on for a number of weeks.

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It has been suggested that New York based investment firm Redbird Capital Partners could be the party that is ready to make a move. The group already owns a 10% share in Liverpool and are a potential option to take over from FSG.

The group already own football teams in Europe, purchasing A.C Milan in Serie A in August of this year for £1bn and also own Toulouse as well as other sports teams around the world.

Redbird’s founder Gerry Cardinale has previously not ruled out purchasing Liverpool in full, the Metro reports he said: “I definitely would not exclude it as it would be a privilege, but I think that Liverpool is in fantastic hands with the current group.”

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