Everton takeover unaffected by……..

Everton takeover unaffected by buyer’s credit downgrade

Josh Wander

777 Partners co-owner Josh Wander (left) has been a regular at Goodison Park this season

Everton’s potential takeover by 777 Partners will not be impacted by a credit rating downgrade on one of the firm’s business arms.

AM Best, a leading US credit rating agency, lowered 777’s financial strength from excellent to fair.

Sources have told BBC Sport the rating is unrelated to 777’s ability to fund the purchase of Everton and will have no material impact on the takeover.

The Miami-based investment firm remains on track to take over by December.

In September, owner Farhad Moshiri agreed to sell his 94% stake in Everton to 777 Partners and the process usually takes 12 weeks to complete.

It is understood 777 has submitted all documentation that has been requested by the relevant authorities, including to the Premier League and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), while the Football Association (FA) also has to give the green light from their end.

AM Best specialises in the insurance industry and placed 777 Partners’ rating under review with “negative implications” and said it could suffer further downgrades.

The report also said 777 Partners had not “provided audited financial statements for the past two years”.

Despite the rating by AM Best, it is understood 777 Partners’ ability to fund transactions in other businesses, such as the 777 Football Group, remains unaffected.

777 Partners comprises of 60 independent operating companies with a combined £8.2bn worth of assets under its management.

The Premier League has the final say on the approval of the takeover once it has completed the owners’ and directors’ test.

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