Tottenham Hotspur, the English soccer team, has been up for sale for some time now. The situation has gained momentum due to the recent indictment of Joe Lewis on charges of insider trading, leading sports bankers to believe that a sale is likely.
Joe Lewis, who has an estimated net worth of $6.1 billion, acquired a controlling stake in Tottenham Hotspur from Alan Sugar for $28 million (£22 million) back in 2001. Presently, the club’s value has soared to $2.8 billion, largely attributed to its ownership of a state-of-the-art stadium worth $1.3 billion, which was inaugurated in 2019.
In October 2022, Joe Lewis no longer held significant control over Tottenham Hotspur Limited (THL). The current owner of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is ENIC Sports Inc., with a majority stake held by a family discretionary trust, in which Lewis does not benefit directly. The trust is managed by two independent professional trustees, overseeing its beneficiaries’ interests.
ENIC, in turn, holds 86.58% of the total issued ordinary share capital of THL, as well as one THL convertible A share.
U.S. attorney Damian Williams expressed that the charges against Joe Lewis were not necessary, considering his substantial wealth. The surge in sports team valuations has been evident both in the United Kingdom and North America, with buyers showing a willingness to pay higher multiples of revenue for acquisitions. Notably, last year, English soccer team Chelsea changed hands for $3.09 billion, while the NFL’s Denver Broncos set a then-record of $4.65 billion. Recently, the Washington Commanders’ sale was approved by NFL owners for an astonishing $6.05 billion, representing an incredible 11 times their revenue.