Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) would prefer to sell the club outright rather than welcome investors, according to CBS journalist Ben Jacobs.
Last Monday, the Athletic claimed FSG had put the club up for sale and had prepared a sales presentation for prospective buyers.
FSG responded to the report with a statement claiming they “would consider new shareholders” under the right terms. They stressedm, however, that they “remain fully committed to the success” of the club.
Want to sell outright
According to CBS journalist Jacobs, FSG would “prefer a full sale over minority investment”, despite prior reports suggesting otherwise.
Goal reporter Neil Jones had previously reported that a third-party investment was the more likely option of the two.
However, in a series of Tweets, Jacobs claimed a full sale is the preference.
“My understanding is that FSG would prefer a full sale over minority investment despite hearing offers of all kinds," he said.
“And the expectation, from those familiar with the process, is that a sale may happen sooner rather than later.
“Important to note, 'sooner' in a sale context still takes a fair amount of time, especially with no interested party in exclusive talks or having undertaken due diligence.
“But sources do stress wheels are very much in motion with Mike Gordon now focused on finding options.
“Jurgen Klopp has been given guarantees, regardless of timescale, that the next two transfer windows won't be affected by the process. It's business as usual on the recruitment and planning side.”
Who might buy Liverpool?
There have been a number of prospective buyers linked with Liverpool, including oil-rich backers from the Middle East and US venture capitalists. However, according to Jacobs, the latter is more likely.
He said: “Multiple sources also say the sale process is framed towards an American-led investor, with one group already some weeks into talks and other investors, who specifically considered Chelsea, still giving a bid serious consideration.
“Since David Ornstein broke the news of a potential sale, #LFC have had a number of new suitors enquire. But Dubai Holding (or an affiliate) and Mumtalakat both deny interest. A MENA-based buyer or investor is not likely.
“Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE) are a genuine suitor and, since trying for Chelsea, have remained on the market for a global club/brand. This isn't great news for Palace (Harris/Blitzer own shares). But Palace didn't present any roadblocks during the #CFC sale tender.
Bit more info on a prospective #LFC sale. My understanding is that FSG would prefer a full sale over minority investment despite hearing offers of all kinds. And the expectation, from those familiar with the process, is that a sale may happen sooner rather than later.— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) November 15, 2022
“FSG expect #LFC to sell for close to $1bn more than Chelsea, although their Forbes valuation is even higher ($4.45bn). They have specifically used that sale as a yardstick. That would put a sale price in today's market at $3.7bn (£3.1bn).
“Chelsea went for $3.1bn at the time, which equated to £2.3bn. But now it would only be $2.7bn and that's the number #LFC are to some extent judging their value against.
“The expectation, from those familiar with the process, is offers of $3bn and above will be seriously entertained. But the growing volume of interest should result in a higher sale price should a chosen bidder progress.
“A full sale is by no means certain. FSG don't just want the right price (they are making a huge profit either way), but the right group as well, so a lot will depend on not just the offer but the plan for the club going forward.”
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