Portsmouth FC sold to US owners
We have advised Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust, the largest shareholder in the club, on the sale of Portsmouth FC to Tornante Group, the investment company of Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney.
Michael Eisner and his three sons will make up the board of the club, along with Andy Redman (President of Tornante) and Mark Catlin, the club’s existing CEO and will join the management team at Fratton Park for the first game of the season.
Commenting on the transaction, Eisner said “My family and I are thrilled to take on this incredible responsibility as stewards of a football club with such a rich heritage. We have come to know the Pompey community in recent months, and we are extremely impressed by their passion, dedication and love for their club.”
Pompey Supporters’ Trust Chairman Ashley Brown said, “The supporters fought hard to save Pompey, they’ve given the club incredible support under fan ownership, ensuring its successful promotion from League Two as Champions. Our passionate supporters now willingly pass the custodianship of Pompey to Michael Eisner, his family and Tornante. It is clear that Michael and his family have caught the Pompey bug and we hope to see them regularly at Fratton Park.”
Brown added “We are grateful to our lawyers, Gateley Plc, for their legal advice in the process. Paul and the team were extremely diligent and provided advice which was robust, but pragmatic and commercial throughout.”
Our legal team was led by Corporate Partner, Paul Jefferson who was supported by Corporate Partner, Stephen Roberts.
Paul commented “It has been a pleasure to work with the supporters’ trust on this deal. The transition from fan ownership to the Eisner family was always going to be a sensitive one, given Portsmouth’s history. However, Michael and the Tornante team have worked collaboratively with fans and with the management team and have clearly embraced the community spirit at Portsmouth. We wish them well in the next stage of the Pompey journey and every success, both on and off the pitch.”
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