Egyptian billionaire acquires stake in English football club

Nassef Sawiris is ranked 251st in the world's rich list. (AFP)
Updated 20 July 2018
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Egyptian billionaire acquires stake in English football club

LONDON: Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris is behind a bid to invest in English football club Aston Villa, the club announced on Friday.
Sawiris is ranked at No.251 in the world’s rich list and is estimated to be worth $4 billion by Forbes. He has joined forces with Wes Edens, the co-owner of NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, to make a “significant investment” in Villa, the Midlands club who play in the second tier of English football.

They have won the league title seven times and the European Cup in 1982, but have fallen on hards times in recent years, ending a sequence of 105 seasons in the top tier of English football with relegation in 2016.

Villa owner Tony Xia spent the close-season searching for fresh investment to plug a reported £40 million ($52.45 million) deficit after Villa were beaten by Fulham in the Championship playoff final last season.
He had entered talks to hand over some of his control of Villa to Sawiris and Edens' company NSWE in exchange for a cash injection.

“I am extremely pleased to have formed a strategic partnership with Nassef and Wes,” Villa owner Dr. Xia said in a club statement. “We have a common goal of delivering future success for Aston Villa and I look forward to working together to achieve this aim.
“To have come so close to achieving promotion last season was a humbling experience. In finding such strong partners as Nassef and Wes we’re gearing up to fight again and bring back the success that this Club deserves and we all so want to provide it with.”
One of three brothers, Nassef’s family’s net worth is put at $36 billion by Forbes and he is said to be the richest Egyptian in the world. He built his fortune in telecom and has a stake in Adidas.


‘It’s epic’: Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal stars tour incredible Ad Diriyah E Prix venue

Al-Nassr’s Nigerian superstar Ahmed Musa (back right) joins (front left to right) Al-Hilal’s Ali Al-Habsi and Mohammad Jahfali and (back left) Saleh Alweheemed ahead of this weekend’s 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 10 December 2018
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‘It’s epic’: Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal stars tour incredible Ad Diriyah E Prix venue

  • 22 Formula E drivers will battle it out for glory this weekend
  • "I’m very happy to see how Saudi Arabia is becoming a rising name for big sports"

JEDDAH: They may be fierce rivals in the Saudi Pro League, but some of the biggest stars of Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr football got together to tour the venue of one of the most anticipated motor racing events in Saudi history.
The players soaked up the atmosphere as they visited the home of the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E Prix.
This weekend the 2.495km track created within the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Ad Diriyah will see 22 Formula E drivers battle it out for glory.
Goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi said: “I’m totally amazed by what they have built here, the track, the grandstands, the hospitality, it’s incredible what they’ve created for the Formula E.  It’s epic.
“As a professional athlete I’m very happy to see how Saudi Arabia is becoming a rising name for big sports, this will be a fiercely fought contest which is sure to thrill the fans.”

 (Left to right) Al Hilal star players Alberto Botia, Abdullah Almaiouf, Mohammad Jahfali, Ali Al-Habsi and Carlos Eduardo visit the new Formula E track at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Ad Diriyah. (Photo/Supplied)

The racing extravaganza will also be accompanied by fan zones, entertainment and cultural attractions.
Three nights of music concerts will feature some of the biggest names in world. 
US smash hit OneRepublic and superstar DJ/producer David Guetta will wrap up the event after the race ends on Saturday with Enrique Iglesias, Jason Derulo and Amr Diab performing from Thursday.
Al Nassr’s Nigerian superstar Ahmed Mussa said: “We’re all about entertaining fans and bringing people together, that’s what football and sport is all about. These three nights will be a spectacle like nothing we’ve seen before and I urge our fans to come and be part of history.”