• Swiss Billionaire, Wyss, Approached With Offer
Roman Abramovich has instructed American bank the Raine Group to handle the sale of Chelsea.
It is understood that the Russian is targeting American buyers as investment from China, the Far East and Eastern Europe has dried up for clear political reasons, although there are major doubts that any potential buyer will meet his £3billion valuation.
The Raine Group first acted for Chelsea in 2018 after talks with US private equity firm Silverlake and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe broke up without reaching an agreement.
The club has effectively been for sale ever since due to Abramovich’s conflict with the UK government after the Home Office declined to issue him a visa, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine giving him fresh impetus to sell.
Roman Abramovich wants a minimum of £3billion to sell Chelsea as he invites bids for the club. But there are emerging doubts that the Russian oligarch will receive anywhere near that mark.
There is a sense that securing an American buyer, potentially through a hedge fund, might be the best route towards a sale. But Abramovich’s links with a Russian regime that has caused so much destruction in Ukraine could lead to reluctance from interested parties to deal with Chelsea.
Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, worth £4.3bn, claims he has been approached to consider buying Chelsea, potentially as part of a consortium.
Speaking to Swiss newspaper Blick, Wyss said: ‘like all other oligarchs, he (Abramovich) is also in a panic. Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas in England. He also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly. I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.
“I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2bn.
“As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price. I can well imagine starting at Chelsea with partners. But I have to examine the general conditions first. But what I can already say: I’m definitely not doing something like this alone. If I buy Chelsea, then with a consortium consisting of six to seven investors.”