Singapore-backed group in talks over Newcastle United takeover deal

Newcastle United
Newcastle United

Newcastle United have begun talks with a Singapore-backed company over a potential takeover.

The Bellagraph Nova Group (BNG), co-founded by Singapore-based investors Evangeline Shen, Nelson Loh and Terence Loh, said a letter of intent and proof of funds has already been provided.

BNG added it has reached out to club legend Alan Shearer and former player Michael Chopra to help with the bid.

The company’s website says it made $12billion in revenues in 2019 and has 31 entities.

“Bellagraph Nova Group’s founders (have) already provided a LOI (Letter of Intent) as well as a proof of funds on Aug. 10,” a widely reported BNG statement read.

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“In addition to the engagement to the Newcastle Football Club and community, Bellagraph Nova Group enlisted help of England captain Alan Shearer and former player Michael Chopra.”

It is another development in an ongoing takeover saga at St James’ Park, with a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) pulling out of a bid to buy the club at the end of July.

A proposed £300million purchase, backed by the PIF, whose chairman is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, failed to go through, with Premier League chief executive Richard Masters explaining the potential buyers declined an offer of arbitration over the ownership issue, which became a key obstacle.

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Many Newcastle supporters had welcomed the attempted takeover, given the unpopularity of current owner Mike Ashley and the possibility of major new investment in the club potentially leading to a transfer spree.

Saudi Arabia’s human rights record was cited by some opponents to the deal as a factor that should have precluded a takeover from happening, while representatives of the country were found by the World Trade Organization to have enabled the piracy of Premier League matches that were being broadcasted legally by beIN SPORTS.

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