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Everton takeover: Peter Kenyon, real estate boss and billionaire behind bid to buy out Farhad Moshiri



Farhad Moshiri appears willing to listen to offers to end his tenure at Everton.

Having arrived in 2016 and invested north of £600m in the club, the success he had hoped for at the start of his reign has not materialised, and while his vision of delivering a new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock remains intact, the plans to break into the so-called ‘big six’ has been left in tatters.

Moshiri was willing to spend big in an attempt to try and close the gap between the Blues and the biggest Premier League clubs in the short term, with heavy investment into the playing side arriving. But so vast the difference in revenue streams, it was almost impossible to keep pace and that success never arrived. That led to heavy losses and the club skating close to the Premier League’s profit and sustainability threshold, and the misery of the season just passed, where Everton scraped to safety having had their status in England’s top tier under serious threat.

READ MORE: Jim White makes ‘positive’ admission over Everton takeover after Farhad Moshiri call

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Thankfully, safety was achieved, and plans can be now made to plan for how the horrors of 2021/22 never happen again, and how the Blues try to rebuild after such a chastening campaign.

For Moshiri, it has left scars. The club was already facing severe financial difficulty before his long-time friend and business partner Alisher Usmanov was sanctioned for his historic ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin in the wake of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. That led to Usmanov’s USM and MegaFon companies having their sponsorship, lucrative ones for the club, ended at Everton, and Moshiri leaving the USM board where he had served as chairman.

Now, as first reported in the Telegraph on Monday, Moshiri is willing to listen to offers for the Blues and has already attracted the interest of a US consortium fronted by former Manchester United and Chelsea CEO Peter Kenyon. A figure of £500m plus a commitment to fund the rest of the Bramley Moore Dock development, which still needs to find some £400m for completion, has been reported to be enough for Moshiri to end his time at Everton. It is hard to imagine that given the sums of money he has put into the club he doesn’t leave, if he does choose to sell, without a significant loss on his investment.

While a number of other interested parties have been reported to be lurking in the background, ready to show their hand, it is the Kenyon-fronted consortium that has emerged as the early contender. But who is part of it and what is their background?

PETER KENYON

An ex-Manchester United and Chelsea CEO, Kenyon has long been one of English football’s most powerful and influential deal makers.

The former Umbro chief executive joined United in 1997 as deputy CEO and was key in the Old Trafford side leveraging their success on the pitch into financial gain through the growth of their brand, particularly in Asia. He was a vital part of negotiations for major commercial deals such as Nike and Vodafone as well as the step away from a more rigid spending culture at the club to a free- spending one, with the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Juan Sebastian Veron all arriving for huge sums during his time at the club.

That success at United prompted Chelsea, who had recently been acquired by Roman Abramovich, to make a move and appoint him to the role as CEO in 2003, a role he would hold until October 2009.

After leaving Chelsea, Kenyon worked briefly for the global sports management agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) but left them in 2011, going on to hold a non-executive directorship at Middlesbrough where his long-standing friendship with super-agent Jorge Mendes would help Boro land Real Madrid hero Aitor Karanka, Mendes’ client, as their manager.

Kenyon also appeared as an adviser to Kenny Huang, the Chinese businessman who failed in an audacious bid to acquire Liverpool from Tom Hicks and George Gillett in 2010. Huang’s Liverpool interest was shrouded in mystery through its opacity on where the £500m funding would arrive from.

In 2019 Kenyon was engaged by General American Capital Partners (GACP), who already owned a minority stake in French side Bordeaux, to help with negotiations to acquire Newcastle United from Mike Ashley. The deal would not be struck, but had it gone through Kenyon was set to receive a five per cent stake in the new company and a role as chief executive.

MACIEK ‘MG’ KAMINSKI

US investor Kaminski, known as ‘MG’, hails from Minneapolis and is the chief executive of Minneapolis firm Talon Real Estate, a company that focuses on big ticket industrial, retail and office properties throughout Middle America, including from Minnesota down to Texas.

Kaminski, who has worked in the real estate business for more than 35 years, saw considerable struggles in the the sector during the economic crash of 2008 that had an enormous impact on the US property market, but has since moved to make Talon one of the most prominent real estate firms in Middle America.

Kaminski began his investment career at Minneapolis-based US investment bank Piper Sandlie before joining the now defunct Paine Webber as a vice-president. From there he founded Wayzata Asset Management, which would become Kaminski Asset Management, as well as Asset Builders International LLC.

JOHN THORNTON

Thornton’s role as part of the consortium gives it significant financial clout.

The 68-year-old US billionaire was formerly co-president of one of the world’s biggest investment banks, Goldman Sachs, until 2003, and currently serves as executive chairman of Barrick Gold Corporation, a global mining company that operates 16 sites in 13 countries worldwide. It is a firm that had revenues of close on $12bn per year in 2021.

He has been a prominent figure in global business for four decades, having sat on the board of the Ford Motor Company in the 1990s and has graduated from Harvard, St John’s Oxford and Yale universities as well as having positioned himself as a person of authority on the Asian markets, being professor and director of the Global Leadership Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing and co-chair of the Asia Society.

Thornton, who resides in Florida, has developed working relationships with a number of high profile political figures, most notably that of former US president Donald Trump and Trump’s controversial former aide Steve Bannon, who Thornton had worked with at Goldman Sachs. Thornton acted as representative of Trump in trade talks with China due to his significant business ties in the region.

Thornton also serves as non-executive chairman of New York-based PineBridge Investments, a fund that manages over $146bn in assets globally, with $83m of that in the Asian market.





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