London-based Armenian businessman Vatche Manoukian joins race to buy Everton

A group of international investors led by London-based businessman Vatche Manoukian have become the latest consortium to make a bid to buy Everton, Sky Sports reports.

Manoukian, the nephew of an Armenian entertainment and property tycoon, is a partner in global technology investment firm IMS Digital Ventures and his bid group is understood to include investors from the Gulf and United States.

Everton owner Farhad Moshiri was tied into a period of exclusivity with troubled US investment group 777 Partners until May 31 and could not enter into alternative discussions.

But the 777 Partners’ purchase agreement with Blue Heaven Holdings Limited for the sale and purchase of the majority shareholding in the club has now expired.

Manoukian follows Roma owner Dan Friedkin’s interest in acquiring the club. Friedkin, who bought the Serie A giants in 2020 and has an estimated worth of $6.1bn (£4.8bn), emerged as an interested party on Saturday.

A-Cap, the investment company that loaned 777 the funds with which they supported the club during their attempts to acquire Premier League approval, are looking to further invest, alongside current owner Moshiri.

Two local businessmen Andy Bell and George Downing are also looking to take ownership of the club.

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