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UK: Billionaire Joseph DaGrosa & GACP Sports take next step towards potential Newcastle United takeover

By Liam Kennedy from Shields Gazette

US businessman, President of the GACP investment fund and new owner of the Girondins de Bordeaux football club, Joseph DaGrosa (R) arrives at the club’s headquarters on November 7, 2018 in Le Haillan, suburb of Bordeaux, southwestern France. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Billionaire Joseph DaGrosa and GACP Sports have taken the next step towards facilitating a takeover of Newcastle United.

The Gazette can reveal that DaGrosa’s US investment firm – who are working with former Manchester United and Chelsea chief Peter Kenyon – have within the last seven days progressed their bid by opening a fresh company GACP NEWCASTLE INVESTORS (U.S.), LLC out of Delaware. The incorporation date for this fresh venture was Tuesday, October 8.

This follows on from the setting up of GACP NEWCASTLE MANAGEMENT (U.S) LLC and GACP NEWCASTLE PARTNERS (U.S), LLC. The former launched on September 27, 2019 with the latter set-up on October 1, 2019.

Further to this ‘Newcastle Investors Ltd’ has been registered in the Cayman Islands, as well as ‘Newcastle Investors Ltd’ company name reserved on the Isle of Jersey company register.

This marks the next step in the group’s Newcastle United bid – as outlined in their 46-page brochure circulated to press last month.

As stated on page 35 of the brochure ‘GACP Newcastle Investors Ltd (Isle of Jersey Company)’ would be the vehicle used to bring investment into the model from outside the of the U.S.

‘GACP Newcastle Investors Ltd (Cayman Limited Company)’ is to be used for investment from America.

The next step in the group’s proposed takeover would be to set up ‘Newcastle Acquisition Partners Ltd’ in the UK. Details of this potential venture are yet to appear on Companies House.

It is at the ‘Newcastle Acquisition Partners Ltd’ stage that Kenyon’s involvement comes in, with a 5% stake in the company and a proposed chief executive role likely, should any deal progress.

While the formation of this new company in the US, and the developments from Jersey and the Cayman Islands, does not guarantee a takeover – or even that a deal is close – it does at least prove that GACP and Peter Kenyon are continuing to press on with their plans.

The group are reportedly eyeing a £300 million buyout of the Magpies, with the deal stretched out over three years.

According to the Daily Mail the bid was lodged with Mike Ashley on or before September 27 and an answer on their bid expected within 10 days.

The reported GACP Sports deal would see them make a down-payment of £125m to take control at St James’s Park, with a further £175m to be paid over three years, with Ashley retaining a number of rights, including advertising around the stadium until the debt was cleared.

Speaking in a recent interview with Get French Football News, billionaire DaGrosa – current chairman of Ligue 1 Bordeaux – revealed his feelings towards the ownership of a football club. DaGrosa is chairman of Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux.

“There is an emotion in this business that does not exist in any other,” he said.

“I’ve been in insurance which is all about the numbers, the burger business (Burger King) and believe it or not, that’s also all about the numbers.

“Then you get into sport and it’s emotional. Everyone has a view and everyone likes to share their views. It’s a real balancing act.”

One of Ashley’s biggest errors in his early days at United was employing the wrong people to the wrong roles – see Dennis Wise, Derek Llambias, Joe Kinnear et al.

This is something DaGrosa does not take lightly.

“Getting the coaching position and head of football right has been important and also the person running the academy – our secret weapon,” he said of his running of Bordeaux.

“They are three key positions. We are trying to create value.

“We will accept losses over the first few years. We want to create franchise value – the way to do that is by having a good team, and a good academy system.

“Not wanting to pick on PSG, but they have a lot of money and throw it around. They have different values, different aims.

“In our case we want to build the club from the ground up, produce home-grown players and eventually keep a lot of that talent in Bordeaux.

“We have got to develop young talent, like a fine wine and wait for the right vintage. This is with a view to having a very strong squad in two, three, four years time.”

Head coach Steve Bruce remains in the dark about the situation behind-the-scenes at United, although planning is already in place for the next window, with the manager set to get more than £10million to strengthen in the winter window.

On a takeover, Bruce said: “It’s an ongoing saga. Until it’s bona fide, I think people are saying, ‘Here we go again’. It has happened that many times.

“The players have probably seen it how many times? Five? Six? Twice a season for the last few years?“It’s common knowledge the club’s for sale. But this club always has speculation around it and it has never happened. Watch this space.”

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