Sources: Major Leeds United takeover update as new 49ers January details revealed
The relative strength of the US dollar against the pound has caused 49ers Enterprises to accelerate their efforts to take full control of Leeds United, sources have told Football Insider.
The company, which owns the NFL side the San Francisco 49ers, first bought into Leeds in 2018 and has since increased its shareholding to 44 per cent.
A source told MOT Leeds News last Sunday (20 November) that the 49ers have the option to complete a full takeover from Andrea Radrizzani in January next year.
It is not yet known whether a separate clause confirmed by Radrizzani stipulating that a deal can also be done up to 12 months later is at a different price point.
A finance agent in Radrizzani’s native Italy who specialises in mergers and acquisitions told Football Insider that the takeover agreement was agreed in sterling and does not account for fluctuations in exchange rates.
While the exact date the clause was signed is not publicly available, the pound has fallen against the dollar by approximately 9.5 per cent in the last two years.
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That means 49ers Enterprises, whose president Paraag Marathe is now vice president of Leeds, would effectively benefit from an ex-post discount if the deal is concluded soon.
The pound fell to an all-time low against the dollar after Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget announcement in September.
Confidence has been somewhat restored since the end of Kwarteng’s time as chancellor and Liz Truss’s subsequent resignation as prime minister.
But most analysts forecast that the pound will continue to underperform against the dollar in 2023, even with the United States economy showing signs of slowing.
The 49ers’ influence at Elland Road has grown more and more apparent since lifelong Leeds fan and 49ers investor Peter Lowy joined the board in May last year.
Co-branded merchandise and sponsorship opportunities have been mooted by the 49ers’ commercial department.