Iranian billionaire to take large stake in Everton

Everton’s decade-long search for new investment has borne fruit with British-Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri set to take a 49.9 percent stake subject to Premier League approval, the Merseyside club said on Saturday.

Everton were in talks over a 200 million pounds ($277.46 million) sale of the club to an American consortium led by ex-San Diego Padres owner John Jay Moores and fellow entrepreneur Charles Noell but Moshiri has stolen a march on them.

His close relationship with Everton’s chairman Bill Kenwright and willingness to allow the 70-year-old to remain in a position of power at the club, at least in the near term, was a factor in clinching the deal, according to British media.

“After an exhaustive search I believe we have found the perfect partner to take the club forward,” Kenwright said on Everton’s official website (www.evertonfc.com).

Kenwright, a leading film and theatre producer, has been looking for major investment to take the club forward for more than a decade, having bought a controlling stake in Everton from Peter Johnson for 20 million pounds in December, 1999.

“I have got to know Farhad well over the last 18 months and his football knowledge, financial wherewithal and True Blue spirit have convinced me that he is the right man to support Everton,” added Kenwright.

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