Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is one of the investors in Iconic Capital which is researching the possibility of a buy-out of Tottenham Hotspur FC, and Zapsportz.com understands that the price tag for the Premier League giants could be as much as £1.8 billion.
The San Francisco fund manages investments for a number of Silicon Valley’s big hitting billionaires including Zuckerberg, so the price tag might not be as daunting for the US fund with so many investors with deep pockets.
Zapsportz.com today contacted the Spurs board to seek clarification of whether they have as yet been made aware of the interest in yet another Premier League giant attracting big interest from the States, where investors are attracted by the possibility of yet another hike up to £10 billion
TV rights in the next three year cycle of domestic and overseas deals, plus the mouth-watering prospect of Spurs making more income than any other Premierr league club from their vastly increased new stadium income especially from the corporate sector.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy values Spurs at £1 billion plus, without the cost of the new stadium, so the club that has now qualified for the Champions League would carry a total price tag for prospective buyers would cost a staggering £1.8billion.
Levy maybe asking as high as £2 billion, as Spurs will be catching up even the likes of Manchester United in commercial income once the new stadium is operational.
United not only make more money than any other football club in the world, but they also have nearly half a billion pounds of debt, while Spurs’ debts are in the form of bank loans related to the new stadium, not the interest repayments to the Glazier family owners.
Spurs recently announced the signing of a five-year bank financing arrangement which includes a £400m bank facility to support the financing of the 61,500 seater multi-purpose new stadium, the Tottenham Experience and the largest retail store of any football club in Europe.
The Facility replaces a £200m interim financing, put in place in December 2015, of which £100m has been drawn to date. The Interim Financing provided funding whilst relocation, planning and development conditions were completed, to ensure the project remained on schedule.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, Goldman Sachs Bank USA and HSBC Bank plc are the lenders under the Facility, and were also the lenders under the Interim Financing. In addition, HSBC are providing a £25m working capital facility as part of the new financing arrangement.
Spurs have splashed over £340m on the acquisition of land, the planning process, including a compulsory purchase order and legal challenges, and build costs to date, which now sees the upper tiers of the North stand being fitted with terracing. This was financed with resources of the Club plus the £100m drawn under the Interim Financing.
The remaining costs of the project will be funded from the Facility and the club. In addition, the ENIC Group will also commit to a £50m letter of credit facility to support the stadium financing and ensure the project is fully funded through the course of its build.
The Facility has a term of five years, with no early repayment penalties or amortisation requirements and no material financial covenants until the stadium opens. The loan is secured against the new stadium and related commercial and match day revenues. There is no obligation to hedge under the Facility and the margin cost payable on the Facility ranges from Libor plus 3% -2.25% over the term.
Rothschild & Co are the Club’s financial advisor on both the Interim Financing and the Facility, with Slaughter and May acting as legal advisor on the financing and construction aspects and DLA Piper acting for the lenders.
While Spurs can boast three of the most prestigious and globally recognised banks supporting them into the final stages to deliver one of London’s largest regeneration projects, just like Arsenal’s move to The Emirates, there must be a huge financial strain on the club with wages soaring along with other overheads to eat into the huge incomes from TV, sponsorship, and other commercial windfalls.
There has been well informed rumours for several years that Spurs owner Joe Lewis is ready to sell the club as the reclusive businessman has wanted to cash in on his investment for some time.
Self-made billionaire Lewis controls ENIC International Ltd, which bought a controlling stake in Spurs from Alan Sugar back in 2001 for around £22million.
Tottenham have always insisted there are no plans to relinquish control, but Mauricio Pochettino has guided Spurs back into the Champions League and that has re-opened interest to investors.