A Czech billionaire has purchased a 27 per cent stake in Premier League club West Ham United, reports have revealed.
Daniel Kretinsky – who also owns Czech First League side Sparta Prague – will reportedly join the Board of Directors as part of the agreement, alongside joint-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold, CFO Andrew Mollett and vice-chair Karren Brady.
The deal, reportedly worth in the region of £180 million to £200 million, makes the businessman the second-largest shareholder, after Mr Sullivan’s shareholding was reduced from 51.5 per cent to 38.8 per cent, and Mr Gold’s by 35.1 per cent to 25.1 per cent.
It comes after the club – currently placed fourth in the Premier League and through to the knockout stage of the Europa League – rejected two bids from private equity firm PAI Capital, which is led by Azerbaijani media producer, Nasib Piriyev.
Commenting on the deal, Mr Kretinsky said: “I am delighted this detailed process has now been successfully concluded,” he said. “I am passionate about football. I greatly appreciate and respect the exceptional history and tradition of West Ham United as well as its loyal and passionate supporter base and also the highly inspiring role it plays in many social programmes and initiatives.”
Ms Brady added: “David Sullivan and David Gold have always been very open about finding the right investors to join them on the journey as custodians of West Ham United and Daniel’s strong business acumen and football experience will be of huge benefit to the club. We very much look forward to working with him and Pavel.”
Mr Kretinsky – who was present at West Ham’s victory over Liverpool earlier this month – is the majority owner of the largest energy group in Central Europe and also owns stakes in Royal Mail and Sainsbury’s in the UK, and the Le Monde newspaper in France.
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