Egyptian billionaire, Nassef Sawiris, and American businessman, Wes Edens, have reached an agreement to inject significant investment capital into Aston Villa Football Club through their jointly owned company, NSWE.
Chinese businessman, Tony Xia, who acquired the club two years ago, will become co-chairman and remain on the board. “To have come so close to achieving promotion last season was a humbling experience. In finding such strong partners as Nassef and Wes we’re gearing up to fight again and bring back the success that this Club deserves,” said Tony Xia.
The club confirmed on Friday that, “The capital injection and transaction have been approved by the EFL and the parties will work through all confirmatory approvals required by the EFL as soon as possible”.
Aston Villa—seven-time champions—were relegated from the Premier League in 2016. After 29-years in the top division, the drop to the second-tier hit the club financially. Aston Villa’s Group recorded a loss of £80.7 million for the financial year ended May 31, 2016, and a loss of £14.5 million the following year.
“We look forward to working with Dr Tony to undertake a thorough assessment and evaluation of the Club in the coming weeks and our priority is to strengthen the squads and structures ahead of the upcoming season and beyond,” commented Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.
Nassef Sawiris—the wealthiest person in Egypt—has a net worth of $6.8 billion, according to Forbes real time estimations. He runs OCI, one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer producers, with plants in Texas and Iowa. Through NNS Group, Nassef has significant holdings in cement giant Lafarge Holcim and adidas AG. He has been on the Board of adidas AG since 2016. NNS is also a major shareholder in Bruins Sports Capital, a US Private Equity firm exclusively focused on the sports industry.
Wes Edens is a co-founder and co-CEO of Fortress Investment Group, a global investment manager. The company was founded in 1998 with $400 million of assets under management, which had grown to c. $40.9 billion by March 31, 2018.