15 October, 2010
On Friday, 15 October 2010, New England Sports Ventures (NESV) announced that it had completed the purchase of Liverpool Football Club.
The sale to NESV, who own a portfolio of companies including the Boston Red Sox, New England Sports Network, Fenway Sports Group and Roush Fenway Racing, was agreed on 6 October.
Plans to complete the sale were held up when Tom Hicks and George Gillett obtained a Temporary Restraining Order in a Texas court.
However, following a court hearing in London, NESV were able to finalise the transaction, which valued the Club at £300m and eliminated all of the acquisition debt placed on LFC by its previous owners, reducing the Club's debt servicing obligations from £25m-£30m a year to £2m-£3m.
Upon completing the deal, NESV Principal Owner John Henry said: "On behalf of the entire NESV partnership, I want to express how incredibly proud and humbled we are to be confirmed as the new owners of Liverpool FC. We regard our role as that of stewards for the Club with a primary focus on returning the Club to greatness on and off the field for the long-term. We are committed first and foremost to winning. We have a history of winning, and today we want LFC supporters to know that this approach is what we intend to bring to this great Club."
Liverpool FC Chairman Martin Broughton added: "I am delighted that we have been able to successfully conclude the sale process which has been thorough and extensive. The Board decided to accept NESV's offer on the basis that it best met the criteria we set out originally for a new owner. NESV is buying Liverpool in order to put it on an excellent financial footing and continue to develop it internationally. This is a good deal which comprehensively resolves the pressing issue of the Club's debt and should give staff, players and fans great confidence regarding the future of Liverpool FC."
NESV Chairman Thomas Werner said: "We recognize that Liverpool Football Club is an historic institution ultimately grounded in the community and the fans. Our first step as new owners will be to listen. We want to hear from the manager and the players and those who are part of the daily operation of the Club. We will be visible at Anfield and will embrace and listen to those who have stood by this Club and who are the rock on which its future success will be built. We want to hear from the fans, local leaders and the local community. We want to hear from those who know LFC best, who have made it the best and share our desire to return to a culture of winning.
"NESV is committed to creating a long-term, financially strong foundation for the Club and dedicated to ensuring the Club has the financial resources to be successful again and attract the best players. To that end, the transaction has been structured in such a way as to eliminate all of the acquisition debt on the Club.
"In the coming days and months, NESV will work closely with the LFC executive team to listen and learn about every facet of the organisation. During this time, the new owners will begin to look at areas for greatest opportunity to increase the appeal of the Club nationally and internationally. NESV wants to once again create a culture and environment to allow people to excel at the Club on every front. During this period, NESV will also begin to examine opportunities to enhance the matchday experience in the short-term, while also carefully studying the various long-term options that may be possible."