Watford In Talks To Sell Stakes In Watford And Udinese.

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by hornetboy1, Oct 26, 2022.

  1. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team Captain

    As reported in The Athletic, the Pozzo family are in advanced talks to sell a significant stake in Udinese to a US investor. It is also believed they would buy a 10% share in Watford.

    The talks will mean returning the Pozzo portfolio to a trio of clubs with Sabadell FC included in the proposal.

    A stipulation is that Udinese will have to undergo an audit to US standards via the PCAOB, which will take some time.

    The ultimate goal is to be listed on the NYSE.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2022
    HopTheHornet likes this.
  2. wfcwarehouse

    wfcwarehouse First Team Captain

    Hope it's a typo and Leventhal actually means 100% share in Watford.
  3. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

  4. RS2

    RS2 Squad Player

    wfcwarehouse likes this.
  5. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    An audit? Lol.
  6. IRB

    IRB THe artist formally know as ImRonBurgundy?

    mmmm steaks
    The undeniable truth likes this.
  7. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Administrator Staff Member

  8. GoingDown

    GoingDown "The Stability"

    You Orns! Can’t wait to see Mogi ringing that bell.
  9. K9 Hornet

    K9 Hornet Border Collie Dog

    Been there, done that :)
  10. domthehornet

    domthehornet Moderator Staff Member

    Please can we be careful about posting articles that are accessed behind a paywall. Thank you.
  11. lowerrous

    lowerrous First Team

    The fact that the investment is being made via a SPAC is a bit strange.

    As far as I can tell only Barnsley so far are a UK club who have been invested in via such a way (also with US investors) and that hasn't been going too well for them. I'm not sure SPACs suggest the investors will be pumping loads of cash in to the club, though it will in part still depend on who the investors are, how much money they have, and how ambitious they are.

    As a minor plus, if the SPAC ultimately gets listed on the NYSE it'd make it simple for Watford fans to invest (and lose their money) in the club themselves. There might also be greater transparency over the club's finances.
  12. I believe Gino knows a man who should be able to provide a PCAOB audit certificate by about 4pm this afternoon.
    a19tgg and Steve Leo Beleck like this.
  13. Bubble

    Bubble Wise Oracle

    I agree.

    Gino is a SPAC.
    Chewitt likes this.
  14. LeedsOrn

    LeedsOrn Reservist

    SPACs have gone out of fashion. They were all the rage in 2020/2021 but have sort of petered out as investment trend.

    Of the various American sources from which we could receive financing/be bought, I don’t think a SPAC would be the best custodian of our club. But just an instinct not a very fleshed out though there. Just don’t think it’s where the smart money is these days.

    Edit: did a quick Google and found a two prominent SPACs formed to purchase football clubs. Seems like there was a particular fad for sports focussed SPACs on top of the general SPAC fad:
    Counter Press Acquisition, raised $75m, led by Hollywood Financier Paul Conway and with a number of baseball executives on the management board.

    LAMF Global Ventures Corp, raised $253m- with George Soros’ nephew leading and advised by Keith Harris (who is bad news, affiliated with Bassini I believe) - were in talks with Everton earlier this month.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2022
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  15. lowerrous

    lowerrous First Team

    Paul Conway is one of the lead investors in Barnsley I pointed to in my earlier post.

    They also own AS Nancy in France and KV Oostende in Belgium. Nancy, as with Barnsley, also got relegated from the second tier after they were taken over.
  16. Irishorn

    Irishorn Gael Force

    Not sure what to think about this.

    If the US investors are only taking a 10% stake in WFC, this can interpreted in one of two ways. Either the Pozzos are so in love with Watford that they are only willing to sell a tiny share to assist them in disposing of the ball and chain that is Udinese, or the US investors took a look at the WFC books and said they will take 10% and no more, if it means they can secure their main target of Udinese. There may be other reasons!
  17. No Orville, then no Keith Harris. We have to be firm on this.
    Unless it's Jason NOrville
    Steve Leo Beleck likes this.
  18. lowerrous

    lowerrous First Team

    Jason Norville plus Dean Holdsworth - the dream team!
  19. LeedsOrn

    LeedsOrn Reservist

    He’s an owner of the Pacific Media Group, but no longer on the Barnsley board. This is a different entity. I don’t know if there would be any issues with him being involved with an English club via this entity considering his ownership interest in Barnsley via PMG.
  20. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Administrator Staff Member

    Yes it does seem that Gino is relunctant to let go of his major stake in the club - ten percent is a very small amount of freedom for an investment, which would mean he would still own about 65% of the stake from Watford Lesuire Holdings. Twenty-five would be ideal for us and still give Gino enough control over the club to not be overruled so-to-speak. What I can deduce from this (if any of it goes through/or is true) is outside invesatment could be the only way we could survive past 24/25 if we fail to get promotion within the next two seasons.
    iamofwfc likes this.
  21. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    Twenty five percent would give the investor negative control, so it in fact would mean he could be overruled in many situations.
    SkylaRose likes this.
  22. Johnny Todd Sings

    Johnny Todd Sings First Year Pro

    Gino has said for some time that he wanted outside investment into the club. In 2018 it was reported that an American group were going to buy a sizeable stake (30% from memory) and it nearly happened but like many of these things in business it didn't go through in the end.

    There is nothing sudden about this and it is not a panic response to relegation and the fear of not being promoted (other than the price going down).
  23. BeersThen

    BeersThen First Year Pro

    This is Gino. More likely that investment will be made via a SPAR than a SPAC. Right by the chocolate flapjacks.
  24. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett First Team

    What about SPAM?!
    .... " Shut up! Bloody Vikings!"
    BeersThen likes this.
  25. dynamo380

    dynamo380 Reservist

    Age could be a factor maybe in why the stake in Udinese will be larger? I mean Pozzo senior is in his eighties now so maybe thats had a bearing, or not.

    In regards to the SPAC, could it be where the David Tepper rumour came from? From my very limited knowledge of such things, dont hedge funds invest in SPAC's/are linked to SPAC's somehow?
  26. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    Investor: what are your numbers?
    Gino: we had 150m income for 5 years and ended up over 100m in debt, relegated and with few saleable assets.
    Investor: where do I sign!
  27. Loyalhornet

    Loyalhornet First Year Pro

    I see this as a good thing if it goes ahead. If a 3rd party investor is going to take a 1o% stake (14million), then they will want to do some significant due diligence on the club's finances. I know there are hedge funds etc that make some crazy decisions, but I can't imagine anyone taking that kind of stake in a business unless they can see a reasonable plan for future profitability and certainly not if it's close to being insolvent.

    On the Udinese sale, I wonder if this is the point the Pozzos feel Udinese has it's highest value with their current position so are keen to sell for that reason.
    Irishorn and SkylaRose like this.
  28. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Administrator Staff Member

    If they did sell Udinese, would it be a 50-50 split for possible finance towards Watford and the new club? I am not sure how much Udinese is actually worth at this point if it was sold, but if Gino did choose to do this and split any profit gained I wonder how much he would put into his new club over us?
  29. lowerrous

    lowerrous First Team

    It appears that the EFL doesn't allow owners of one club to hold more than 10% of another club.


    So it's very interesting that whoever this US investor is has only taken a 10% stake in Watford! It could be a sign that it is in fact someone like Conway who already has interest in another club like Barnsley.

    Maybe the whole deal is structured as a workaround of the EFL's ownership rules, with a larger share of Watford's dosh still being funnelled back to the new owners via Udinese. Or it could be that the 10% stake in Watford is a temporary measure until hypothetically Conway can get rid of his stake in dross like Barnsley so they can takeover Watford outright (and/or until when Gino has fully shifted over to Sabadell).

    Funnily enough the PL has different ownership rules, with someone with a maximum of a 30% stake in a PL club not being allowed to own another PL club. So also hypothetically if we got promoted if the person still owned Barnsley outright they could keep that while bumping their ownership of us to 30%. Although this would be a strange move as if we were relegated again they'd have to drop the stake in us back to 10% if they still owned Barnsley.

  30. lowerrous

    lowerrous First Team

    Hedge funds do often invest in SPACs, and sometimes lead the creation of a SPAC.

    From a brief google it appears Tepper's Appaloosa Management have invested in SPACs before. However, I can't find any instances of them either being the largest investor in a particular SPAC or of Tepper or Appaloosa leading the creation of a SPAC.

    Combined with the fact that Tepper himself owns the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte FC privately outright himself, this suggests that it'd be unusual and unlikely for him to be behind this SPAC investment.
  31. lowerrous

    lowerrous First Team

    (I wanted to edit this to "someone with a maximum of a 30% stake in a PL club not being allowed to own another English club")
  32. cyaninternetdog

    cyaninternetdog Forum Hippie

    Just remember if you buy shares you dont own them unless you direct register them in your name. If they are in your portfolio with your broker they are in your brokers name. About time stock markets started using blockchain technology and NFT share certificates.
  33. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    Not sure I like this.
  34. Chumlax

    Chumlax Squad Player

    Here's the last two paras of the mostly relatively inconsequential new Athletic article this morning on the reported investment interest...

  35. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    Narrator: It will not.
    GoingDown and luke_golden like this.

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