American banker leading takeover race at Hull City

Hull City's owner Assem Allam.
Hull City's owner Assem Allam.
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THE front-runners in the quest to takeover Hull City for around £100m are understood to be an American group led by investment banker Peter Grieve.

The Tigers have been in discussions with a number of interested parties over a possible sale of the newly-promoted club.

Hull were put on the market back in 2014 following the Football Association’s rejection of an attempt to re-brand as Hull Tigers but the Allams have made clear several times that any deal must be in the best interests of the club.

Representatives of the American group were at Wembley for the Tigers’ play-off final victory over Sheffield Wednesday on May 28.

They had also been given a tour of the club’s facilities earlier in the month.

All parties are subject to confidentiality agreements but it is believed former Goldman Sachs managing director and US Marine officer Grieve is leading the bid to take control at the KC Stadium.

Grieve left Goldman Sachs in 2009 after 25 years’ service to set up Cordia Bancorp, an American banking group. The businessman is understood to be ready to pay the an asking price that has soared since City won promotion late last month.

A new £8.3bn television deal means all 20 members of the Premier League can look forward to hugely increased revenue streams over the next 12 months. In TV money alone, the bottom club in 2016-17 is guaranteed a minimum £100m and when sponsorship, ticket sales and other commercial activity is factored in the sums flowing into Hull’s coffers next term make the club a very attractive proposition.

That, of course, applies to the current owners, who since saving the Tigers from likely administration late in 2010 are believed to have ploughed in around £85m. The Allams can afford to be patient as talks progress, knowing that the increased income will ensure Hull can be competitive next term.

Meanwhile, chairman Assem Allam is expected to be discharged from hospital in “the very near future”. The Tigers chief has been seriously ill and recently underwent surgery at Castle Hill Hospital. “Dr Allam has given us permission to reveal that he has had successful surgery following an illness and he is now making a steady recovery,” said the NHS Trust.