Everton granted extension to repay £158m loan

Everton have been granted an extension to the deadline for a £158m loan to be repaid as the prospective owners 777 Partners try to raise the funds needed to complete their buyout.

The club owed investment firm MSP Capital and two local businessmen, Andy Bell and George Downing, a nine-figure amount that was supposed to be paid by midnight on Monday.

A short-term extension of the loan – taken out by majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri but which 777 have to pay if their takeover is to proceed – has been agreed in principle.

The Miami-based investment fund now have a few weeks to come up with the money. They have approached other lenders to secure the funding to pay off the loan, including the American credit provider Blue Sky Capital

The Premier League had made repaying the loan one of their conditions if they are to permit 777’s buyout to go ahead. They also want 777 to deposit £60m in an escrow account and to convert their loans to the Merseyside club into equity.

777, who were founded by businessmen Josh Wander and Steve Pasko, remain confident they can satisfy the other criteria to pass the Owners’ and Directors’ Test.

They either own or have stakes in a host of other clubs, including Standard Liege, Hertha Berlin, Genoa, Sevilla and Vasco da Gama, but amid questions about financial issues at some of the clubs and the source of their funding.

Moshiri agreed in September to sell his 94.1 per cent stake to 777, initially saying the deal should be completed by the end of 2023 but the Premier League wanted a series of questions answered before ratifying the takeover.

Everton, who lost 6-0 to Chelsea on Monday, remain in danger of relegation after being given two points deductions this season for failing Profitability and Sustainability Regulations. They lodged their appeal against a two-point penalty on Monday and the Premier League said it would be “expedited” so the result is known before the last day of the season on 19 May.

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