- 49ers Enterprises currently hold 44 per cent stake in Leeds
- The group currently have option to buy out Radrizzani until January 2024
- Consortium thought to be waiting until end of 2022/23 season before launching takeover
49ers Enterprises bought an initial 15 per cent equity stake in the English top-flight soccer club back in 2018 for a reported sum of UK£10 million (US$13.3 million). It then has gradually increased its stake in the team, which now sits at 44 per cent.
The group has an option to buy out the Premier League club and take 100 per cent control from majority shareholder Andrea Radrizzani, which expires in January 2024.
The Times reports 49ers Enterprises has made moves in recent weeks to secure investment to exercise this option, and it is now believed it has access to the funds required to complete a full takeover.
The British newspaper adds that the consortium will most likely act at the end of the 2022/23 season, as it waits to see if Leeds can retain their spot in the Premier League before negotiating a price. A potential transaction would not be considered hostile, given the close relations that has developed between all parties.
A previous report suggested that the 49ers Enterprises had a deal in place to take control of Leeds and their Elland Road stadium for more than UK£400 million (US$531 million).
Last year, Peter Lowy, an Australian investor in 49ers Enterprises, joined the Leeds board, highlighting the consortium’s growing influence. The English soccer team’s vice-chairman is Paraag Marathe, who also serves as the president of 49ers Enterprise and vice-president of the 49ers franchise.
Recently, the 49ers chief marketing officer Alex Chang spoke on the SportsPro podcast about the opportunity for the two teams to gain joint sponsorship deals, saying that talks were underway to explore stronger commercial ties.
While Radrizzani has yet to comment on the talks, he has previously hinted that he would be in discussions with the 49ers Enterprises on the club’s future direction.
“We are very good friends with the 49ers, they are a solid partner, they let you work in peace and they are supportive,” Radrizzani told The Athletic at the start of the season. “They have, as you know, an option to take a majority in 2024. Maybe before or at that moment, something will be discussed.”