Chelsea’s new owners are raising around £800million in debt to help fund their ambitious plans for the club.
In one of football’s biggest-ever debt deals, Todd Boehly and US investment firm Clearlake Capital are arranging a £500m loan and a revolving credit facility of around £300m.
The equity is not being borrowed against the club and is not like the leveraged buy-out of Manchester United by the Glazer family in 2005.
Manchester City’s parent company, City Football Group, raised £470m in a similar arrangement last July.
The Financial Times first reported details of the deal, which Boehly and Clearlake Capital intend to use to help them return Chelsea to the top of English and European football.
The new owners, who bought out Roman Abramovich in a £4.15billion deal in May, are also implementing plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge and grow the club globally.
To protect the club, the terms of the takeover included restrictions on debt levels.
Boehly has made it clear he is serious about investing big money into Chelsea. The debt would help ensure the new owners have deep pockets for their plans for the men’s and women’s teams, academy and stadium. All proceeds from the deal would go into the club.
The £500m loan would form part of their £1.75bn commitment to Chelsea, while the revolving credit facility is said to be for “working capital purposes”.
The FT reported that Bank of America and JP Morgan are among the banks involved with the financing.
Chelsea’s new owners have already showed their intent by signing Raheem Sterling for £47.5m and Kalidou Koulibaly for £33m and want to take their summer spending beyond £150m by signing France defenders Jules Kounde and Presnel Kimpembe.