West Ham: Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky completes minority stake purchase

Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has completed his purchase of a minority stake in West Ham.

The Athletic announced last month that the 46-year-old was expected to buy 27 percent of the Premier League club. This has now been confirmed.

Kretinsky and his colleague Pavel Horsky joined the board of directors of WH Holding Ltd, the club’s parent company, through investment group 1890 Holdings.

Kretinsky, who saw Liverpool’s win at London Stadium on Sunday, said: “I am delighted that this detailed process has now been successfully completed. I am passionate about football.

“I greatly appreciate and respect West Ham United’s exceptional history and tradition, its loyal and passionate supporter base and also the highly inspiring role it plays in many social programs and initiatives. The development and growth of the club over the years has been clear for all to see and I am excited to be a part of what I believe is a very exciting future ahead.

“I recently went to the London Stadium to see David Moyes’ team and I know it’s an incredible time to be part of the West Ham United family. I feel privileged to now have the opportunity to help everyone here build the proud traditions of this great club.”

Karren Brady, Vice-Chairman of West Ham United, said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Daniel Kretinsky, Pavel Horsky and 1890 holdings to West Ham United. We are always looking for progress and Daniel’s involvement brings with it investments that will strengthen the club’s position and in turn help develop the club’s key areas of focus.

“David Sullivan and David Gold have always been very open about finding the right investors to join them on their journey as custodians of West Ham United, and Daniel’s strong business acumen and football experience will benefit the club immensely. very much looking forward to working with him and Pavel.”

It is clear that Kretinsky, known as the “Czech Sphinx” for his inscrutable investment style, may eventually take a majority stake at a later date.

This deal, which is months in the making, would therefore mark the beginning of the end of West Ham’s so-called “GSB” era, a reference to their majority shareholders and co-chairs David Gold and David Sullivan and vice-chairman Karren Brady, who the club since 2010.

The phased nature of the proposed deal is reportedly linked to a clause in the club’s agreement with their eventual landlords at the London Stadium, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), which says Gold and Sullivan should receive a percentage of the profits. pay they make on a sale of the club to the London taxpayers.

This would be worked out on a sliding scale, with no unexpected tax liability if the club got less than £125 million, but 20 per cent of just over £300 million. The clause will expire in March 2023.

Kretinsky’s investment reportedly values ​​the club in the region of £600 million, significantly more than two bids Gold and Sullivan received this summer from PAI Capital, a group led by London-based Azeri businessman Nasib Piriyev. Their plan was to buy the entire club and then renegotiate the long-term lease at the London Stadium to take full control of the multi-purpose venue, which was being built for the 2012 Olympics.

But Sullivan, who owns 51.5 percent of West Ham’s shares, rejected PAI’s bids, saying they had massively undervalued the club. However, he did not deny that West Ham has been on the market for at least a year, with an asking price of £650m, more than double what the Saudi Arabia-led consortium recently paid for Newcastle United.

Leave a Comment