UAE billionaire 'in talks' to acquire UK's Derby County

Sheikh Khaled named 'person with significant control' in newly incorporated firm in UK

  
Soccer Football - Championship - Derby County v Watford - Pride Park, Derby, Britain - October 16, 2020 General view inside the stadium during the match Action Images/Jason Cairnduff

Soccer Football - Championship - Derby County v Watford - Pride Park, Derby, Britain - October 16, 2020 General view inside the stadium during the match Action Images/Jason Cairnduff

Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan’s name has surfaced in latest reports of a possible takeover of Derby County in the United Kingdom.

The senior member of the Abu Dhabi royal family and cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed had previously attempted to acquire Liverpool in 2018 and Newcastle United in 2019.

According to British media, the owner of Dubai-based firm Bin Zayed Group is now interested in Derby, and that the English Football League (EFL) is set to approve the deal soon.

“A deal is close, but would need EFL approval,” BBC reported on Friday.

According to The Athletic, current owner Mel Morris, who acquired Derby in 2015, has been keen on divesting a “significant chunk” of the club for about a year.

Sheikh Khaled could not be reached for comment.

New business

However, a document seen by Zawya identified Sheikh Khaled as a “person with significant control” of Derventio Holdings (UK), a new firm that was incorporated only last September. Derventio is the name of a Roman fort and settlement on the outskirts of Derby.

The filing, posted by the Companies House, a registrar of businesses in the UK, also named Sheikh Midhat Kamil Kidwai and Switzerland-based British businessmen Andrew Obolensky and Christoper Richard Leney Samuelson as directors.

“Representatives of the new company are understood to have attended Derby’s recent home [game] against Watford,” according to The Athletic.

In 2018, the Emirati billionaire’s attempt to take over Liverpool for $2.6 billion was turned down. His subsequent $453 million bid for Newcastle United in 2019 also didn’t prosper.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com

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© ZAWYA 2020


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