American consortium set to buy 60% stake in Swansea

Date published: Friday 15th April 2016 8:30

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The American consortium keen to take over Swansea look set to accept a restructured deal to buy around 60 per cent of the Premier League club.

The group, headed by sports executives Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan, had initially been negotiating a deal which would have seen them acquire 75 per cent of the shares.

Purchasing that amount of stock caused concern to the Swansea Supporters Trust – who own 21 per cent of the club and have a director on the board – as it would have allowed the Americans to issue more shares.

That would have diluted the value of the Trust’s shares and diminish its influence at the club.

The Trust responded to a meeting with Levien last weekend by expressing their disappointment that they had been “kept at arm’s length from negotiations”, which had been conducted for several months, and said they would now “consider the opportunity and the merits of this potential transaction”.

They were due to do that at a Trust Forum on Thursday night, members gathering at the Liberty Stadium just as Dutchman John van Zweden became the first Swansea director to speak about the takeover deal.

Van Zweden has suggested he will sell almost all of his shareholding – believed to be around five per cent – but will stay involved with the club in a commercial capacity.

“I’m really happy with this deal,” van Zweden was quoted as saying in Dutch publication Voetbal International.

“Strangely enough, there is not much change for me because I will stay involved with the club. The new owner and I have spoken.

“He wants to keep me for Swansea from a commercial and sporting point of view.

“I am enormously proud. I love the club and I can not imagine a better deal.

“I wanted to do this only when I was sure that it is good for Swansea.

“I have been for years at the club, but with this deal I suggest it secures the future of my daughter.”

It is understood that under the terms of the takeover deal chairman Huw Jenkins and vice-chairman Leigh Dineen will maintain smaller stakes in the club and remain in executive roles at the Liberty Stadium.

Jenkins said last weekend that the proposals would “help Swansea City progress both on and off the field”, with an agreement possibly ratified by the end of the season.

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