Who is Jahm Najafi - the billionaire behind reported Tottenham takeover bid?

Spurs the latest Premier League team to attract the attention of investors

Jahm Najafi at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in 2021.  XPB/Press Association
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Tottenham Hotspur could be the latest Premier League team to undergo a change in ownership with reports stating that Iranian-American billionaire Jahm Najafi is preparing to launch a $3.75 billion takeover bid.

The Financial Times and Reuters reported that Najafi, who is chairman of the MSP Sports Capital group, is working with a consortium of investors to formulate a bid that can be presented to the club's owner Joe Lewis and chairman Daniel Levy.

Reports state that Najafi's offer values Spurs, who are fifth in the league table, at approximately $3 billion before adding about $750 million of debt.

It is believed that MSP Sports Capital will put forward around 70 per cent of the bid, with other backers from the Gulf region providing the remaining amount.

Antonio Conte's team have 39 points after 23 games in the league this season and sit one place outside the top four. They last won a trophy in 2008 when they lifted the League Cup. They reached the final of the 2018-19 Champions League, where they lost to Liverpool.

The news comes amid a churn in the Premier League with a number of teams having changed ownership or looking for new investors.

In 2021, a Saudi-backed consortium completed the takeover of Newcastle United. Then in May last year, the Premier League approved the takeover of Chelsea by a group led by Todd Boehly.

Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehly had agreed a £4.25 billion ($5.2 billion) purchase of the Blues, following the end of Roman Abramovich’s ownership owing to sanctions over the latter for links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In November, Liverpool club owners Fenway Sports Group announced that they are open to selling the club. And lastly, Manchester United’s controlling Glazer family are reportedly also looking for investors after years of protests from disillusioned fans.

Spurs' current owners built a state-of-the-art £1 billion stadium in 2019 but resentment has grown among the club's supports, mainly for an apparent lack of investment in the squad.

The Press Association reported that the offer, which is less that what Boehly's group had to pay for Chelsea, might not be enough.

Who is Jahm Najafi?

Najafi, 60, is chairman of the MSP Sports Capital group, a minority owner in NBA side the Phoenix Suns and also has an investment in Formula One team McLaren.

Najafi also heads Najafi Companies, a private-equity firm based in Arizona. His MSP Sports Capital has stakes in a number of European clubs including German side Augsburg, Portuguese club Estoril and others.

Najafi has a master's degree in business economics from Harvard University. He has a reported net worth of $3.5 billion.

Updated: February 15, 2023, 6:26 PM