Swansea City: Club's sale to US consortium ratified by Premier League
Swansea's proposed sale to US investors has moved a step closer after receiving ratification from the Premier League.
A consortium led by Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan bought a controlling stake of 60% in the Swans but the Supporters Trust retaining a 21.1% shareholding.
"We are delighted that the Premier League has ratified our deal to buy a controlling interest in the club," Kaplan and Levein said.
The deal is expected to be completed in July, the investors explained.
"We had a very positive meeting yesterday and we appreciate the fact the Premier League has moved so swiftly to give us the green light to move forward," they said in a statement on the club's website.
"There are still a few minor loose ends to tie up on the deal which we envisage will be completed before the end of the month.
"In the meantime, we are both extremely excited to be part of a new era for Swansea City and working with Huw Jenkins and the Supporters' Trust in taking the club forward."
BBC Wales Sport revealed in April which of Swansea's directors would be selling all or part of their shares.
Swansea City chairman, Huw Jenkins, added, "We are all extremely pleased with the outcome of the Premier League meeting.
"It will now enable us to move forward fully focussed and put everything in place for the start of another very important Premier League season.
"Everyone at the club is looking forward to working together with Steve and Jason for what will be a new and exciting chapter in the club's proud history.''
Not a takeover?
Swansea director Martin Morgan says the sale of a majority stake to an American consortium is "not a takeover".
They have now passed the Premier League test for prospective owners and Morgan expects the sale to be completed soon.
"I think it's a case of days, if not weeks," Morgan told BBC Radio Wales.
He continued, "It's not a takeover because the Trust will stay involved. I will still keep five percent, Huw [Jenkins] will keep five percent, as will Brian [Katzen].
"Every club that overtook us were billionaires and it's very hard to compete with that and we wanted some more muscle.
"Maybe, and hopefully, they can make Swansea a better team or secure our place in the Premier League".
|Swansea City shares before the takeover|
|23.7%||Louisa Martin and Martin Morgan* (OTH Ltd)|
|21.1%||Brian Katzen and Jeffrey Crevoiserat** (Five Thirty Ltd and TLR Investments Ltd)|
|21.1%||Swansea City Supporters' Society Ltd|
|5.3%||Leigh Dineen (Bulk Vending Systems Ltd)|
|5.3%||John van Zweden (Swansea Jacks Ltd)|
|Less than 0.1%||David Morgan|
Owning the Liberty Stadium?
Levien is the managing general partner of Major League Soccer side DC United, while Kaplan is principal of Oaktree Capital investment fund and vice-chairman of NBA franchise Memphis Grizzlies.
They are understood to be keen to buy Swansea's home ground, Liberty Stadium, which is owned by the local council, with a view to increasing its capacity.
Levien and Kaplan had initially been negotiating a deal which would have seen them acquire more than 75% of Swansea's shares, effectively giving the American consortium complete control, including the power to issue more shares.
However, the modified acquisition of 60% will see the trust retain its 21.1% stake and ensure continuity at board level with the retention of Jenkins and Dineen.
Swansea will be based in Washington DC, home of Levien's DC United, for their pre-season tour to the USA in July.