Singaporean entrepreneurs, Nelson Loh and Terence Loh, have put in a bid to buy English Premier League club Newcastle United.
Together with another person, Evangeline Shen, who is also part of the bid, they are part of the Bellagraph Nova (BN) Group.
In "advanced stage of negotiation"
In a statement to CNA, BN Group said that they are in an "advanced stage of negotiation", after already providing a letter of intent and a proof of funds.
BN Group also said that it has roped in former England captain and Newcastle player Alan Shearer, as well as former Newcastle forward Michael Chopra, to back the bid.
It added, according to CNA:
"BN Group’s founders have declared their willing to massively contribute to the development of the club through their solid and international structure and a combined business/sport devoting mindset."
Who are they?
According to its official website, BN group is an established multinational company that owns 31 entities across 100 countries and is worth US$12 billion (S$15.6 billion).
Its business activities cut across various industries, including luxury, consumer lifestyle, financial services, and real estate.
One of its most well-known subsidiaries, Bellagraph Jewelry, notably famed for holding the world record for highest ever online single sale transaction.
The Lohs are cousins and former investment bankers at JP Morgan.
They also co-founded Novena Global Lifecare Group in 2010.
First Singaporeans to own an EPL club?
If BN Group's bid goes through, the Lohs will be the first Singaporeans to own an EPL club.
Founded in 1892, Newcastle is a strongly supported club that finished the 2019-2020 EPL season in 13th place.
The club has won four first division/ League titles and six FA Cups.
They are eighth in the all-time Premier League table and have the ninth-highest total of major honours won by an English club with 11 wins.
Previous bid fell through
Before BN Group expressed their interest, Newcastle was offered a £300 million (SS$538.2 million) bid funded by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).
The bid was led by British financier Amanda Staveley, but PIF was set to take an 80 per cent stake.
The bid fell through in June after being scrutinised under the Premier League's owners' and directors' test.
The test is a set of rules to which owners and directors -- or potential owners and directors -- must adhere to.
Some of the the disqualifying factors include criminal convictions, a ban by a sporting or professional body, or breaches of certain key football regulations.
Problems with the takeover process stemmed from Saudi Arabia's questionable human rights record and accusations of TV piracy, although the country has denied it is behind the illegal broadcasting of EPL matches.
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Top images from Newcastle United/Instagram & Bellagraph Nova group's website.