Ms. Amanda Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi have given an exclusive interview in the Dubai based National newspaper from London, where PCP has an office on Park Lane.
Ms. Staveley talks about the business they are in – investment – and she refers to the failed attempt to acquire Newcastle United.
PCP Partners are a group of few employees, and Ms. Staveley is currently busy closing real estate and hospitality deals in both the US and in Dubai.
She has talked about the attempt to buy Newcastle and why acquiring football clubs is difficult and complicated, and she points out there are not too many investors who want to buy football clubs.
Ms. Staveley at St. James’ Park last October 1st
This is what she told The National today:
“In football there seems to be no secrets, there is such intense interest in football and that is difficult to manage during a transaction.”
“There are obviously opportunities that we come across. For instance, I have been in the US closing a transaction, which is a real estate and hospitality deal.”
“We also are at the same time in the final negotiations over similar assets in Dubai.”
“Our business is very much financial. We are an investor, it is an investment, we are running everything as business.”
“It’s my belief that big clubs should be owned by individuals with deep pockets or sovereigns, like Man City. What Abu Dhabi has done to support Manchester is an example of a responsible football owner.”
“So the big clubs are in the safest hands.”
“We have our eyes open, we are not trying to be a Man City. When Financial Fair Play came in is when it changed, it helped other investors.”
“Investment is a progression, you can start as an investor and welcome new investors, clubs can grow with the same shareholder base and get bigger over time.”
“Football is unique in its aspects. It is special, complex. Negotiations tend always to be quite difficult.”
“They are emotive assets and also the pool of people who acquire football assets is very small globally, so transactions are rare and there are a lot of differences in views on valuations.”
“That is Mr Ashley’s right if he thinks it (Newcastle United) is worth £350M, he’s got a right to wait for the right price and that’s okay.”
“But don’t scare off other potential bidders because there are so few potential parties that can buy it.”
And here is an extract from the National report regarding her efforts to buy Newcastle United and why she will only pay £250M:
“Her consortium’s offer of a £250M one-off cash payment for the club is not enough for Mr. Ashley, who believes Newcastle is worth nearer £350M.”
“Ms. Staveley and Mr. Ghodoussi, however, say they will not pay that much because the purchase of the club is just the beginning of PCP’s long-term investment.”
“Almost immediately there would be further costs of £100M to £200M in the first year to improve the playing squad and other areas of the business.”
Mr. Ghodoussi was a former investment banker and married Ms. Staveley back in 2011.
He has said this as reported in the National about how PCP operates from a small base:
“We are deliberately a small team because you want to reduce cost and you can be more nimble. If the transaction gets big and we need support we will go and bring in advisers,”
“It’s not all about the $1B deals either, we do look at the other side of the spectrum. We will look at smaller deals, again it is about where we can add value and how we can get something over the line for our clients.”
“Obviously we have strong relationships within the Middle East region, we have also built relationships in Asia, in China and also in the US.”
We are hoping PCP Capital Partners will come back in for Newcastle when we are safe in the Premier League this season; the sooner the better.