We examine the people and groups behind the controversial £300 million buyout of English Premier League (EPL) club Newcastle United.
The £300 million deal which ends the failed 14-year ownership of Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley, will see Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund take an 80% share, with the remaining 20% held by PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.
So, who exactly are these groups?
Saudi Public Investment Fund
This is the wealth fund of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is perhaps the largest in the world. Valued at around £315 billion, its job is investing funds raised from the sale of oil, on behalf of the Saudi government.
The takeover was confirmed by the EPL after it said it had received “legally binding assurances” that the Saudi state would not control the football club. This was apparently one of the main stumbling blocks to a deal.
This is despite the closeness of the fund to the Saudi regime, which has faced criticism over its human rights record.
PIF is also chaired by Saudi’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been linked to the gruesome 2018 murder of exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
PCP Capital Partners
The “boutique international private equity firm” was founded in 2005 by English-born financier Amanda Staveley. It has offices in London, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai.
The 48-year-old, whose own net worth has been estimated at £110 million, has been the driving force behind the takeover and will have a seat on the Newcastle board.
RB Sports and Media
RB Sports and Media forms part of the Reuben brothers billionaire business empire. It is a family-owned private equity and property firm.
Its investments include media businesses, racecourses, pub companies, aerodromes, and data centres, as well as investments in resources ranging from shipping to the warehousing of metals.
Between them, the developments promise to generate around 10,000 jobs and more than £600 million in investment.
Jamie Reuben will sit as a director of the club.