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British tycoon Nick Candy

British property developer Nick Candy to submit a £2.5billion bid to buy Chelsea

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British property developer Nick Candy is working on a £2.5billion bid for Chelsea, which includes plans for a £1.5bn rebuild of Stamford Bridge, to be submitted by the end of the week.

The 49-year-old Chelsea fan is talking to a number of American investors about forming a consortium to launch a formal bid for the club.

Candy and his potential partners are understood to value the club some way short of Roman Abramovich‘s £3bn price tag.

But a bid of £2.5bn would be regarded as credible in the circumstances, as the Russian looks for a quick sale given he faces being sanctioned by the Government as soon as next week.

The American billionaires who have been linked with a bid for Chelsea include Chicago Cubs chairman Thomas Ricketts, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and Crystal Palace shareholder Josh Harris.

‘Nick Candy is actively exploring a number of options for a potential bid for Chelsea Football Club,’ a spokesperson for Candy confirmed to Sportsmail. ‘Any bid would be made in conjunction with another party (or consortium) and we have serious interest from several international partners.

British tycoon Nick Candy (right along with wife Holly Valance) is working on a £2.5bn bid to take over Chelsea

British tycoon Nick Candy (right along with wife Holly Valance) is working on a £2.5bn bid to take over Chelsea
Candy and with his brother Christian (L) are luxury-property developers with a joint net worth of £1.5bn

Candy and with his brother Christian (L) are luxury-property developers with a joint net worth of £1.5bn

Who is Nick Candy?

  • Nick Candy and his younger brother Christian are British luxury-property developers, estimated to share a joint net worth of £1.5billion.
  • The pair bought their first property in 1995, a one-bed flat in Earl’s Court, London. They sold it for a £50,000 profit 18 months later. The brothers’ best-known property developments include London’s One Hyde Park, NoHo Square and the redevelopment of the former Chelsea Barracks.
  • Their company, Candy & Candy, became Candy Property in 2018 to reflect Nick’s sole ownership.
  • Nick fundraised for Shaun Bailey’s London mayoral campaign.
  • The 49-year-old is a lifelong Chelsea supporter and owns a stake in podcast platform Audioboom. He is married to Australian actress Holly Valance, formerly a star of Neighbours, and has two children with her, Luka Violet Toni and Nova Skye Coco.

‘Mr Candy has a huge affinity with Chelsea. His father was asked to play for the club and he has been watching matches at Stamford Bridge since the age of four. The club deserves a world class stadium and infrastructure and Mr Candy’s unique expertise and background in real estate would be a hugely valuable asset to delivering this vision.’

Candy would put some of his estimated £1.5bn fortune into the takeover bid, but he is also being courted by American investors because of his property expertise, headquarters in west London and knowledge of Chelsea.

One of the keys to any takeover being successful and making Chelsea sustainable in the long term would be executing the planned redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, which has stalled under Abramovich.

Candy is short of current owner Roman Abramovich's £3million asking price for the club

Candy is short of current owner Roman Abramovich’s £3million asking price for the club

Chelsea announced plans to build a 60,000-seat stadium on the same site in 2015 and received planning permission following a lengthy battle with local residents two years later. But the project was scrapped in 2018 after Abramovich’s visa renewal was blocked by the Government in light of the Salisbury poisonings.

That planning permission has since expired and the club’s options for moving are limited by the Chelsea Pitch Owners owning the stadium’s freehold, as well as being permitted to block any relocation unless it is endorsed by 75 per cent of their membership.

Candy’s group would commit to rebuilding Stamford Bridge despite such obstacles, however, and are convinced that Chelsea can be run profitably with the potential for growth even after an outlay of around £4bn.

The emerging NFT and crypto markets are relatively untapped by Premier League clubs, while a bigger stadium would enable them to almost double match-day revenues.

Abramovich instructed The Raine Group to find a buyer for Chelsea last week after his initial plan to hand the club over to the Chelsea Foundation charity trustees collapsed in the face of their doubts and opposition from the Charity Commission.

Candy (L) is talking to a number of American investors about forming a consortium to launch a formal bid for the club

Candy (L) is talking to a number of American investors about forming a consortium to launch a formal bid for the club
Property developer Candy, 49, is a Chelsea fan and has followed them since the age of four

Property developer Candy, 49, is a Chelsea fan and has followed them since the age of four

The American merchant bank are understood to have around 20 expressions of interest, but only half-a-dozen of them are regarded as credible buyers.

Numerous parties from all over the world have since expressed interest in buying the club, with the Swiss-American duo of Hansjorg Wyss and LA Dodgers part owner Todd Boehly having already submitted a bid.

New York Jets owner Johnson is reported to be preparing a bid, while Turkish businessman Muhsin Bayrak has claimed he is due to hold further talks with the club tomorrow.

Crystal Palace shareholder Harris was also linked with making a bid for Chelsea last night, but such a move would be complicated by his existing stake at Selhurst Park and the need for him to sell those shares, which could slow down the process.

The Raine Group have set a deadline of Tuesday for bids to be tabled, but that date is only for initial proposals and Abramovich will continue to entertain offers submitted afterwards.

Who else is interested?

TODD BOEHLY AND HANSJORG WYSS — LA Dodgers baseball team owner Boehly has teamed up with Swiss billionaire Wyss, 86. Boehly tried to buy Chelsea in a £2.2billion deal three years ago.

THOMAS RICKETTS — chairman of Chicago Cubs baseball team wants to invest outside the USA. Tried to buy AC Milan in 2018.

MUHSIN BAYRAK — The Turk told local TV: ‘Our law and finance department will start talks with theirs in London. We will soon fly the Turkish flag.’

JOSH HARRIS — The American owns a minority stake in Crystal Palace.

WOODY JOHNSON — Heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune and former US ambassador to UK.

PS: Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe has distanced himself from a deal, while MMA fighter Conor McGregor is not said to have the sort of profile Roman Abramovich likes. Egyptian businessman Loutfy Mansour is also out of the race.

 

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About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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