RedBird faces takeover deal that could impact Liverpool’s future


The receiver who has been in charge of the affairs of Spain’s second division Malaga team will remain there for at least another six months.

It is the ruling of a Spanish Magistrate’s Court that has sought ways to resolve the complex ownership situation surrounding the former Champions League quarter-finalists, a situation that has seen RedBird Capital Partners, 11% of shareholders of the owners of Liverpool Fenway Sports Group, have been involved in recent months.

RedBird Capital, which paid $ 750 million for part of the FSG business in March, already owns the French second division team Toulouse after taking a majority stake in the summer of 2020 and has made it clear its desire to add more football clubs to its growth. investment portfolio, with RedBird partner Alec Scheiner declaring earlier this year that they wanted to own “three in four” across Europe.

Malaga was one of over 80 clubs they looked at and they decided to take a very small stake in the club in May, buying around 600 shares bought for a value of just £ 15,500 (€ 18,000) to allow them to take part in a planned capital increase in the club that the receiver appointed last year, José María Muñoz, would only allow if the interested parties were seated at the table at the level of the hall of the advice.

Spanish radio station Cadena SER confirmed last week that despite a step forward in the ownership feud between majority shareholder Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani, owner of the club since 2010 through his company NAS Spain 2000, and 49 % of shareholders, the hotel group Bluebay, it could be next year before a solution is found.

Al Thani and Bluebay clashed in court in 2019 over a contract dispute relating to 2013, a time when Malaga needed heavy investments to meet growing debts as part of its quest for success.

A judge in 2019 said that 97% of the club’s shares, which were under Al Thani’s control, should be returned to the company jointly owned by Al Thani and Bluebay, NAS Spain 2000, where the owner of Malaga and BlueBay had a 51 percent and 49 percent stake respectively.

Al Thani appealed and court proceedings continued until last week, when a final ruling was issued.

This initial decision of 2019 has been confirmed and it has been determined that the 565,861 shares of the company NAS Spain 2000, an entity of Al Thani and his children created in 2013 upon the signing of the purchase agreement of ‘actions between him and Bluebay, must be shared. as agreed. Al Thani has a final appeal right, which he is likely to enforce.

The decision means that the receiver in charge of the management of the club, Muñoz, can now set in motion the capital increase which could allow RedBird to take a majority stake in the football club.

But while this may speed up the process of another potential acquisition of RedBird, who could form an alliance with Liverpool moving forward in the same way their rivals have similar relationships with other European clubs, the situation doesn’t appear to have a full shutdown anytime soon, with Muñoz tasked with continuing in his capacity to oversee operations on the Andalusian side until the end of January 2022.

The administrator’s problem is that with the club heavily in debt, the pandemic only serving to exacerbate an already bad situation and the club losing £ 8.6million to the 2020 financial accounts, guarantees are being sought before compete next season.

Muñoz has already made progress in this regard, reaching a deal with Malaga city hall for a sponsorship of € 350,000 this summer, a figure that would double next year if promoted to La Liga. It is these kinds of financial guarantees, including RedBird in the background, that La Liga are looking for in order to allow the club to return to the highest level of Spanish football if they succeed on the pitch.

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RedBird is reportedly keen to take a majority stake in Malaga to possibly add to their multiclub plans, which could mean Liverpool may send talented young players on loan to sort out some of the complex Brexit recruiting issues. , where the introduction of a board approval point system and the ban on recruiting under-18 players from outside the European Union have made life more difficult for English clubs.

But they may not be the only ones wanting to side with Spain, with Bluebay looking to engage in the capital increase and already owning a 49% stake in the holding of La Rosalada. But they are also keen for the Spanish court to approve the decision on Al Thani so as not to open up the possibility of a more prolonged negotiation blocked by further Al Thani calls, which is likely.

Gonzalo Hervás, CEO of Bluebay, told MalagaHoy: “Al-Thani has a lot to say in all of this. We want solutions, not new problems. We don’t want to go into further pursuits. We don’t want it.

“What we are going to ask for immediately is the execution of the sentence from NAS Spain.

“The capital increases last a certain time, but they must be triggered, we have expressed our desire to promote it as quickly as possible. To the receiver who activates it, we insisted on this point that we consider necessary. We I repeat. We have to go along with it. From our full support for the team that is within the club. The club needs a period of stability.

“Little by little we are going to separate this judicial administration, it goes on and on, which is looking for an adjustment so that the leadership can change in a reasonable way.”

RedBird has been incredibly active over the past 12 months and has also been, along with his football company, the instigator of the XFL’s revival plans in the United States, and has also taken a 15% stake in the Rajasthan Royals Indian Premier League cricket team.

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