West Ham looking to sell 35% stake
A big stake in West Ham is up for sale for around £40 million, according to ESPNsoccernet sources.
The club are willing to bring in a third partner to join current owners David Gold and David Sullivan, with the value of the club set to soar after landing the Olympic site on Friday, and will be looking to sell a 35% stake.
Gold and Sullivan would in no way gain personally from any funds injected into the club from a new investor, as "they are simply looking for other people to join them who'd invest new funds with them to help turn West Ham into a top six-club", according to club and City insiders.
A West Ham insider told ESPNsoccernet: "With playing at the Olympic Stadium from the start of the 2014-15 season, the club's value has been enormously increased and there is a unique opportunity to buy the remaining 35% of the club for around £35-40 million.
"Once all the shares are placed it is anticipated that they'll increase enormously in value over the coming few years as the club moves to the Olympic Stadium for the start of the 2014-15 season.
"There is a chance the value of the club could go from £100 million to £500 million, to £700 million over five years when we move.
"There are only four big clubs in London: Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal and West Ham, and West Ham is by far the cheapest. Yet it has great heritage and a huge fan base and, with the Olympic Stadium, it can become a top-five club in the future."
ESPNsoccernet can reveal that West Ham is currently split between Sullivan and Gold, who each have a 31% stake, while around 3% goes to other shareholders and 35% is still owned by the Straumur Bank (who acquired the club in October 2008 due to the large debt owed by former owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson).
Sullivan and Gold have an option over the Straumur shares for three years from the date they took control of West Ham - in January 2010 - but the club would entertain "a large single partner, or a number of smaller partners, to join them and take out the Straumur shareholding".