Over the weekend, several high-profile media outlets reported that a Silicon Valley firm of investors going under the name of Iconiq Capital were planning a £1bn takeover bid for Tottenham Hotspur.
The group, backed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, were reported to have held talks with a number of investors hopeful of putting together a substantial enough bid to make Joe Lewis, the Tottenham owner, sit up and take notice.
However, at 18:30 Sunday evening, the club released an official press statement through their website to quash the rumours, stating no discussions have taken place regarding a takeover offer.
Official statement below;
CLUB STATEMENT – IN RESPECT OF PRESS SPECULATION REGARDING OFFERS OF INTEREST IN THE CLUB
Posted on 9 July 2017 – 18:30
The Club engaged Rothschild to secure the funding for the new stadium. As expected many proposals came forward including bank debt and equity investment. The Club announced on 31 May 2017 the completion of the bank debt financing for the new stadium with a consortium of banks involving Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, Goldman Sachs Bank USA and HSBC Bank plc. The Board believes this was the optimum solution in the interests of fans, employees and shareholders and for the continued development of the Club. The Board is not in any discussions relating to a takeover offer for the Club.
There is absolutely no doubt that Joe Lewis and ENIC are set to make a huge profit on what they paid for their controlling stake in the club, all the way back in 2001, with the club reportedly valued at close to £1bn in the current market. With the new stadium set for opening by the beginning of the 2018/19 season, that valuation of the club will only rise, as long as the on-field success continues and qualifying for the Champions League continues, further building on the clubs already extensive worldwide fanbase.
With Joe Lewis now turning 80 years old, it is only natural to speculate as to what his long-term plans for the club are. In an era of Sheikh billionaires and Russian oligarchs taking over the Premier League, there is little doubt that signs of Spurs being unable to compete with those clubs at the very top of the league in regards to signings and financing are there. The fans know this as well – this summer’s aparrent reluctance to spend the money necessary to build on last season’s second placed finish in the League causing great frustration amongst fans. Would a takeover mean considerable finances for Pochettino to build and turn us in to a genuine European powerhouse?
Of course, it’s all rhetorical at the moment, but the questions are there and have been for a while regarding just how far we can go under ENIC and Daniel Levy/Joe Lewis.