By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Farhad Moshiri has sold his stake in Arsenal for £200million to become a majority shareholder in Everton, it was announced on Saturday afternoon.
The British-Iranian businessman has clinched a controlling interest in the Merseyside club after buying a 49.9 per cent share.
He had grown frustrated with a lack of influence for his money at Arsenal.
Everton’s 70-year-old chairman Bill Kenwright will remain in a position of power at Goodison Park after giving the go-ahead to the deal.
He told the Everton website: “After an exhaustive search I believe we have found the perfect partner to take thecClub forward. 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.”
Moshiri added: “I am delighted to take this opportunity to become a shareholder in Everton, with its rich heritage as one of Europe’s leading football clubs. There has never been a more level playing field in the Premier League than now.”
Red and White Holdings on Friday confirmed that Moshiri had sold his stake in the company to Arsenal’s second largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov.
Forbes estimate that his personal wealth stands at around £1.3billion and that figure will have been swollen by the sale of his Red and White shares to Usmanov.
Usmanov and Moshiri had hoped to buy Arsenal from owner Stan Kroenke, but the American is unwilling to sell and their 30.04 per cent share of the Gunners did not even earn them a place on the club’s board.
BREAKING: The Club is to have a new major shareholder in Farhad Moshiri who brings the promise of new investment. More to follow. #EFC
— Everton (@Everton) February 27, 2016
According to Arsenal’s official website Red and White’s share in Arsenal had been split equally between Moshiri and Usmanov, meaning the sale of his stake will have been worth almost £200million to Moshiri – roughly the same amount of money for a 100 per cent share of Everton.
After meeting Usmanov in the early 90s, Moshiri became the Russian’s partner in several companies, his representative in the UK and head of Gallagher, Usmanov’s British investment company.
In November 2012, the 60-year-old became co-owner of USM Holding together with Usmanov and billionaire Andrei Skoch. He is a chartered certified accountant who worked for Ernst & Young, Pannell Kerr Forster and Deloitte Touche and also holds shares in Russian mining and steel manufacturing giant Metalloninvest and Russian mobile phone operator Megafon.
Kenwright has been looking for major investment into Everton for over a decade after buying the club from Peter Johnson for £20m on December 26, 1999.