Premier League side, West Ham United has announced via club statement that Czech billionaire, Daniel Kretinsky has completed the acquisition of a 27% stake in West Ham Holding Limited.
The stake is said to be worth between £180 million – £200 million which makes Kretinsky the second largest shareholder at the Premier League club. The deal has reduced co-chairmen, David Sullivan’s shareholding from 51.5% to 38.8%, David Gold’s by 10% to 25.1% and Tripp Smith’s by 2% to 8%, with the number of shares in the hands of other investors falling from 3.4% to 1.1%, according to The Guardian.
The deal also sees Kretinsky, who co-owns Sparta Prague, and his colleague, Pavel Horský becoming members of the Board of Directors at the club, joining Sullivan, Gold and vice-chair, Karren Brady at the helm of affairs of the Premier League side.
What they are saying
The London club side has indicated that the agreement is a further improvement to the Club’s capital structure which will initially enable the reduction of its long-term debt and the ability to continue to direct funds generated into other key areas of focus, continuing the positive progress made at West Ham United in recent years.
“West Ham United is pleased to announce that Czech investment group 1890s holdings a.s has completed the acquisition of 27% shares of WH Holding Ltd.
“As part of the agreement, it is intended that 1890s holdings a.s Chairman Daniel Křetínský and his colleague Pavel Horský will become members of the Board of Directors of WH Holding Ltd,” the club said in a statement.
Commenting on the investment, Daniel Křetínský said: “I am delighted this detailed process has now been successfully concluded. I am passionate about football. I greatly appreciate and respect the exceptional history and tradition of West Ham United as well as its loyal and passionate supporter base and also the highly inspiring role it plays in many social programmes and initiatives.
“The development and growth of the Club in recent years has been clear for everyone to see and I am delighted to be part of what I believe is a very exciting future ahead.
“Having been to the London Stadium recently to watch David Moyes’ team, I know it is an incredible time to become part of the West Ham United family. I feel privileged to now have the opportunity to help everyone here build on the proud traditions of this great Club.”
West Ham United Vice-Chairman, Karren Brady said: “On behalf of the Board I am very pleased to welcome Daniel Křetínský, Pavel Horský and 1890s holdings a.s to West Ham United. We are always looking to continue to progress and Daniel’s involvement brings investment which strengthens the Club’s position, and in turn will assist in the development of the Club’s key areas of focus.”
What you should know about Daniel Kretinsky
Kretinsky started his professional life as a lawyer but has built a titanic empire that covers gas lines, coal-fired power stations, swathes of European media as well as Sainsbury’s and the Royal Mail in the United Kingdom.
The Czech billionaire is the CEO of the largest energy group in Central Europe where he owns 94% of the energy group, Energetický a průmyslový holding (EPH).
The 46-year-old is the co-owner and president of Sparta Prague football club in his home country and has a net worth of $4 billion, according to Forbes.
He also owns stakes in French newspaper, Le Monde and German retail giant, Metro AG.
In May 2020, Kretinsky bought a 5% stake in UK postal firm Royal Mail and a 5% stake in struggling U.S. department store chain, Macy’s.