Indian businessman Anil Ambani
EVERTON have become the latest Premier League team to be courted by billionaire Indian businessman Anil Ambani.
Intermediates representing Ambani have been in contact with Goodison owner Bill Kenwright, intent on arranging a meeting between the two parties.
Ambani, said to be the sixth richest man in the world with a fortune of £24bn, has targeted Everton after failing in an attempt to take control at Newcastle United.
Ambani’s son, Jai Anmol, is thought to have attended Everton’s pre-season friendly against PSV Eindhoven at Goodison for informal talks with Kenwright and club director Robert Earl. Everton have been openly seeking new investment for some time, with Kenwright reiterating earlier this month that he would happily sell the club to a suitable buyer.
Ambani would appear to fit that profile, having amassed his riches as head of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, the largest business house in India.
The 49-year-old had recently been linked with a £230m takeover of Newcastle, but withdrew his interest because of the ongoing uncertainty behind the scenes at the North East club. At Everton’s recent extraordinary general meeting at Goodison Park, called by angry shareholders to demand a withdrawal from the plan to move to Kirkby, Mr Kenwright said he was looking for a billionaire to take over the club. "I am a pauper when it comes to other chairmen. I cannot go on like this, we need a new owner and we will continue to try to find one," said Kenwright, who endured a barrage of criticism.
He said he had asked Keith Harris, a "Mr Fix it" of the football world, to try to find a buyer for the club which he would "sell tomorrow" to the right bidder.
Despite insisting the proposed move to Kirkby alongside a Tesco supermarket would continue, Kenwright said his door remained open if Liverpool City Council could come up with a viable alternative.
Everton’s plans to move to Kirkby with Tesco, in a £400m development, had been cast into doubt when the Government decided to call a public inquiry because of the large retail element.
But the club has said it intends to press ahead with the scheme, which will be delayed by up to a year by the inquiry, due to start in November.
According to Forbes, Anil Ambani is the sixth wealthiest man in the world.
He and his estranged brother, Mukesh, who ranks one spot ahead of him in the world at number five, had inherited their fortune from their late father, industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani.