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Mayer Brown corporate partner Rob Hamill has led a team advising on the sale of Portsmouth Football Club, just six weeks after advising on its purchase.
As reported by The Lawyer (22 June), Hamill led a team advising Sulaiman Al Fahim on the purchase of the club from previous owner Devondale Investments, which was advised by Taylor Wessing partner Tim Stocks.
Devondale is the investment vehicle of French businessman Alexandre Gaydamak, who was the club’s sole owner and who received separate advice on the sale from Sherrards Solicitors partner Jean-Paul da Costa, who also advised the club.
Mayer Brown has now advised Al Fahim on the sale of a 90 per cent stake in the club to Falcondrone, a company owned by Saudi businessman Ali Al Faraj.
Al Faraj used West End property boutique Fuglers, led by partner Mark Jacob.
Hamill said Al Fahim, who will stay at the club as non-executive chairman, had sold the majority of his stake after paying off the club’s creditors, including £35m to Standard Bank.
“The issue was that the club’s bankers and HM Revenue & Customs seized on the opportunity of change of ownership to get paid,” Hamill said. “The club has, in effect, had to meet those demands in the past six weeks. That has accentuated the need for further financing, although it was always Al Fahim’s intention to bring in other investors.”