Singapore investors part of group at an ‘advanced stage of negotiation’ to buy Newcastle United

SINGAPORE: A trio of investors including local entrepreneurs Nelson Loh and Terence Loh say they are at an “advanced stage of negotiation” for the purchase of English Premier League club Newcastle United.

In response to queries from CNA, the Bellagraph Nova group, which was co-founded by Mr Nelson Loh, Mr Terence Loh and Ms Evangeline Shen, confirmed on Saturday (Aug 15) that it is negotiating the acquisition of the club. The group was founded by Ms Shen.

“Bellagraph Nova Group’s founders are at an advanced stage of negotiation having already provided a LOI (Letter of Intent) as well as a Proof of Funds on Aug 10,” said the statement from the Paris-based group.

“In addition to the engagement to the Newcastle Football Club and community, Bellagraph Nova Group enlisted help of England captain Alan Shearer and former player Michael Chopra,” it added.

“BN (Bellagraph Nova) 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.”

According to the group’s website, it has 31 entitles, and generated revenue of US$12 billion in 2019. It has a presence in “all major business fields”, from financial to sport, healthcare and luxury goods, entertainment and robotics, the group said in their reply to CNA.

The Bellagraph Nova group was formed after a merger between the DORR group and the Bellgraph group in June. Mr Nelson Loh and Mr Terence Loh, who are cousins, were the founders of DORR Group. 

The Loh cousins are also the founders of Singapore-based Novena Global Lifecare. They sponsor the Singapore national Muay Thai team, according to Nelson Loh’s LinkedIn profile, as well as local race car driver Yuey Tan.

READ: Football: Newcastle back to square one after Saudi takeover fails

Last month, a proposed Saudi takeover for Newcastle United collapsed after a consortium which included Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund PIF, Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers pulled out.

The consortium blamed the prolonged scrutiny process and global uncertainty linked to the COVID-19 pandemic for their decision to withdraw from the deal.

The takeover bid was announced in April and never emerged from the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test.

Earlier this week, the league’s chief executive Richard Masters said that the proposed takeover had collapsed after the group declined to take up the Premier League’s offer of independent arbitration to decide who would own the club.