Billionaire Aston Villa co-owner Wes Edens involved in £ 6.3bn mega deal
Aston Villa co-owner and US billionaire Wes Edens is embroiled in a trade deal that has brought together some of the richest people in the world.
A trio of private investment groups led by SoftBank-owned Fortress have reached a £ 6.3 billion deal to acquire Wm Morrison, Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket chain, according to the Daily mail.
Edens became a billionaire alongside his Fortress co-founders following the company’s IPO in 2007, and is its co-CEO.
The co-owner of Villa has been a member of the Fortress Board of Directors since November 2006, with responsibility for the company’s private equity activities, which invest primarily in transport and infrastructure, real estate, healthcare, financial services and the media.
While he and Nassef Sawiris continue to fund Villa’s resurgence in the Premier League, Edens also has an impressive portfolio across other companies and his taste for success stems from his business acumen away from the sports world.
Now involved in one of the biggest contracts of his career to date, Edens will work with America’s second richest family, the Koch family – which Forbes says is worth around $ 100 billion – and others. .
The New York Times previously noted that Edens had a “taste for struggling assets,” and the level of investment he has invested in Villa is proof of that, as well as his exceptional stewardship of the NBA franchise, the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks hadn’t tasted victory in the NBA Championships since 1971, and skepticism reigned when Edens teamed up with fellow billionaire businessman Marc Lasry to buy the franchise in 2014, as part of a deal worth $ 550 million.
The Edens Bucks achieved a 26-game turnaround in the 2014/15 season, combined with the fourth-highest annual increase in ticket sales across the NBA. During his ownership, Bucks made the playoffs three out of four seasons and had their first consecutive winning seasons since 1999.
Under Edens’ leadership, the Bucks fortunes increased: in February 2020, Forbes estimated the value of the Bucks at $ 1.58 billion and after Villa received the payment of £ 100million for promoting the Premier League the year before the Bucks’ valuation peak, it’s safe to say Edens has a knack for saving clubs and businesses in crisis.
Koch Industries is a junior partner in the New York-based Morrisons deal with Fortress, which would represent around half of the £ 3 billion in the Morrisons offering. In a statement released on Saturday, Fortress pledged to honor recent Morrisons pay increases as well as pensions and supplier agreements.
He also recognized the company’s role in the security of the UK food supply.
The Fortress of Edens has already acquired a variety of American supermarkets and part of the failed Fresh & Easy chain that Tesco attempted to set up across the Atlantic after the group took its first big step. in the UK with the acquisition of £ 95 million of wine. Majestic Wine concessionaire at the end of 2019.