There seems to be an American bidder in for Newcastle United and there is of course quite a bit of speculation on who that could be.
Paul Allen – Microsoft co-founder and owner of 3 US sports teams
We have no idea, and things are being kept very secretive but one person who maybe interested in acquiring an English club is Paul Allen – the co-founder of Microsoft with Bill Gates.
Currently Allen is the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., which is his private asset management company, and is chairman of Charter Communications.
Allen also has a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio which includes stakes in Digeo, real estate holdings, and more than 40 other technology, media, and content companies. Allen co-founded Microsoft (initially called “Micro-Soft”) with Bill Gates in Albuquerque, New Mexico back in 1975.
The company first came to prominence in 1981 when IBM used them as the software in their first IBM PC.
Allen didn’t hang around for too long at Microsoft after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 1983. His cancer was successfully treated by several months of radiation therapy and a bone marrow transplant, but he elected not to return to the Seattle based software giant.
Allen officially resigned from his position on the Microsoft board in November 2000 but was asked to consult as a senior strategy advisor to the company’s executives. In 2000 he sold 68M shares of Microsoft stock and he still owns a reported 138M shares. They will be worth about $3.1B t yesterday’s closing price of $23.68 for Microsoft (MSFT) stock.
But the thing about Paul is that he is very interested in Sports and already has three American Sports teams:
- Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League
- Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association
- Seattle Sounders FC franchise in Major League Soccer that began playing only this season
But quite a few Americans are interested in quickly getting on the band wagon of world football – or soccer as they call it over here – to differentiate it from American Football.
Paul may see buying Newcastle at a knock down £100M ($162M) a good deal, with the plan to get them quickly back into the Premier League.
If Paul did happen to buy Newcastle he could use the Seattle Sounders as a feeder team for the club. There will be more and more Americans playing Association Football in the years ahead, as the youngsters see the excitement and passion, not to mention the money, generated by world football.
According to Forbes Allen is the 32nd richest person in the world, worth about $10.5B (£6.5B) right now – and that is down from $16B a year ago.
Another American rumored to be interested is Larry Ellison, CEO and co-founder of Oracle and a former IBMer would you believe.
He ‘s currently listed on the Forbes list of billionaires as the 4th richest person in the world as of March 11, 2009 – worth around $22.5B (£13.9B)
Currently he’s getting ready to challenge for the Americas Cup in sailing.
Hopefully we’ll know shortly who the winner and new owners are.
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