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American takeover of Swansea confirmed

5 Jun

Jason Levien

Jason Levien is managing general partner of Major League Soccer side DC United

The American takeover of Swansea City worth around £100m has been completed, subject to Premier League approval.

Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan lead a consortium which has bought a controlling stake of 60% in the club.

They must now pass the Premier League’s test for prospective owners for the takeover to be officially approved.

A statement said. “Both see the takeover of Swansea City as an exciting opportunity for long-term growth in the club in every area.”

BBC Wales Sport revealed in April which of Swansea’s directors would be selling all – or part – of their shares.

With the club now valued at about £100m, shares are believed to have increased tenfold in worth since the current board took charge in 2002.

Swansea City Supporters’ Trust, which has a representative on the board, will retain its full 21.1% stake.

Chairman Huw Jenkins and vice-chairman Leigh Dineen, who will stay in their roles, will keep a reduced part of their current holdings, which are 13.2% and 5.3% respectively.

Huw Jenkins<!–

Chairman Huw Jenkins has helped Swansea become a stable Premier League club since promotion in 2011

Hotelier Martin Morgan and wife Louisa hold the biggest stake in the Swans – 23.7% in the name of their company OTH Limited – though those shares could be divided and a small amount retained.

South Africa-born businessman Brian Katzen – who was part of the consortium which helped save the club in 2002 – will sell most of the 21.1% stake he has with business partner Jeffrey Crevoiserat.

Rob Davies, who ran Liberty Properties – title sponsors of the club’s stadium – will sell his 10.5% holding, while Dutch businessman John van Zweden, who owns 5.3%, will also sell up.

Levien is the managing general partner of Major League Soccer side DC United, while Kaplan is principal of Oaktree Capital investment fund and vice-chairman of NBA franchise Memphis Grizzlies.

They are understood to be keen to buy Swansea’s home ground, Liberty Stadium, which is owned by the local council, with a view to increasing its capacity.

Levien and Kaplan had initially been negotiating a deal which would have seen them acquire more than 75% of Swansea’s shares, effectively giving the American consortium complete control, including the power to issue more shares.

However, the modified acquisition of 60% will see the trust retain its 21.1% stake and ensure continuity at board level with the retention of Jenkins and Dineen.

Swansea will be based in Washington DC, home of Levien’s DC United, for their pre-season tour to the USA in July.

*Martin Morgan resigned from his post as a director of OTH Ltd on 4 April 2016

**Brian Katzen and Jeffrey Crevoiserat own one more share than the Swansea City Supporters’ Trust, giving them less than 0.1% more of a share.

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