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|EVERTON FC: SHARES
|Share Distribution||Who currently owns Everton Shares?|
|Fortress Sports Fund||How would this have affected shareholdings?|
|Share Price History||A fiscal roller-coaster story of questionable accuracy|
|Shareholders Association||Just as it says. Follow the link for more info.|
|2008 EGM||A Transcript on the EGM held in September 2008|
|2007 AGM||A Report on the AGM held in December 2007|
|2006 AGM||A Report on the AGM held in December 2006|
|2005 AGM||A Report on the AGM held in November 2005|
|2004 AGM||A Report on the AGM held in December 2004|
|2004 EGM||A Report on the EGM held in September 2004|
|2003 AGM||A Report on the AGM held in October 2003|
|2002 AGM||A Report on the AGM held in October 2002|
|2001 AGM||A Report on the AGM held in December 2001|
|2000 AGM||Phil Pellow's Report on the AGM held in December 2000|
|1999 AGM||Report on the AGM held in September 1999|
Shares in Everton FC Co Ltd are closely held. They are privately traded and do not often become available, rare transactions generally being through the club's brokers, Blankstone Sington. There is no official share price, so the cost of shares is governed by how much one is prepared to sell or pay for them, with the price dropping significantly for bulk lots. Individual shares are currently changing hands for somewhere in the range of £1,500 to £2,000, showing an increase in value on previous years. During the Moyes era, the price stayed remarkably stable (around £1.500), apparently inured to the changing fortunes of the club and its perceived value (or debts!).
Everton's Annual Accounts include a listing of share ownership at Board level. This was the situation at the end of May 2014:
Chairman Bill Kenwright added shares to his portfolio in 2011. For
comparison, this was the share distribution in the Everton Boardroom, reported in the Annual Accounts at the end of May 2008:
The Articles of Association used to require that each director hold at least 3 shares in The Company... a requirement that Keith Wyness dodged somehow for a number of years. However, he left under mysterious circumstances in July 2008 and is unlikely to be heard of again. He was effectively silenced by Earl and Green following a dash across the Med in Sir Philips yacht.
Prior to that, Paul and Anita Gregg left the Everton Board after selling their shares to Robert Earl in 2006. Sir Philip Carter (721 Shares), Keith Tamlin (119 Shares) and Arthur Abercromby (1,935 Shares) all left the Board in the summer of 2004, with Sir Philip Carter retuning in August 2008.
The estimated share value (January 2015) is not much increased from the £1,200 reputedly paid by Robert Earl for the Greggs' shares in 2004. With 35,000 shares outstanding, this gives the club a nominal book-value of around £30M. At that time, almost 25,000 Everton shares were held by True Blue Holdings, the consortium Bill Kenwright put together (with the help of Paul Gregg and John Woods) to buy out Peter Johnson in 1999 (see below). TBH was voluntarily wound up on 2 December 2004. Paul Gregg and family later sold their approximately 8,146 Everton shares, making around a £2M profit on their £7M investment in the Club.
Lord Grantchester (a member of the Moores Family) owns 2,773 (7.9%)
Everton shares. That leaves around 5,600 shares (16%) owned by others, including
200 - 300 regular fans with as few as one share each.
|With the dissolution of True Blue Holdings
confirmed in early 2005, some foolishly believed this would pave the way for the promised and much
heralded investment from Christopher Samuelson's Fortress Sports
Fund, a Brunei-based entity set up for a select group of international
investors to put their money into promising sports ventures, not the least
of them being Everton FC. This is how it was supposed to have
Tranche 1: FSF wanted to invest initially £12.8M in the form of new shares (approximately 14,936 at £857) that would give them a 29.9% stake in the resulting company, increasing its book value to over £42M. For this to happen, there would have had to be a vote by existing shareholders (at a new EGM), 75% of whom would have had to approve the deal.
The concern amongst shareholders (primarily Paul Gregg) was that this would dilute his holding in Everton, and limit the power he could exercise. By our calculation, he and his immediate family members commanded 23.3% of Everton shares at the time (see below); so, with a strategic alliance, it would have been relatively easy for him to garner more than the 25% needed to defeat any motion for the issuance of new shares that was required to make the FSF deal a reality.
If Tranche 1 had gone ahead, the total number of Everton Shares would have risen to around 50,000, with the additional investment boosting the value of the company in such a way that the individual value of shares (and therefore the share price) should not be adversely affected. The power balance would shift, however, with Kenwright's 25% slipping to 17.5%, the Gregg family to 16.3%, and so on. The minor shareholders would have represented only 11.1% of the cub ownership.
Tranche 2: FSF then wanted to invest another £17M a year or so down the road, in the form of more new shares (approximately 20,164 at £857) that would give them overall a 50.1% stake in the resulting company, increasing it's book value to over £60M. There would presumably have needed to be another vote by existing shareholders, 75% of whom must approve the deal.
If Tranche 2 had followed, the total number of Everton Shares would likely have risen to around 70,100, with the additional investment boosting the value of the company in such a way that the individual value of shares (and therefore the share price) would not be adversely affected (we are still working on Bill's quoted figure of £857). The power balance would have suffered another seismic shift, with Kenwright slipping to 12.5%, the Gregg family to 11.6%, and so on. The minor shareholders would have represented a paltry 7.9%. Hardly the direction of a Supporters Trust...
In December 2005, Paul Gregg is reportedly to have said that the FSF deal is thus "dead in the water"... Thankfully, Paul Gregg was right; and the Fortress Sports Fund fiasco was dead in the water, with no more embarrassing question for "life-long Evertonian" Christopher Samuleson about such mundane things as the name of the bloke who scored the winning goal in the 1966 FA Cup Final....
RECENT SHARE HISTORY
For our ToffeeWeb readers, we have collated an approximate history of Everton share prices and related activity (in reverse chronological order) going back to the end of the Moores Era in 1994.
October 2009: Nearly three years since the last entry in this record... and hardly any change to report. One intrepid contributor found that the ownership of the club's shares is actually more complex than we have presented previously in more simplified versions that group together ownership by individuals registered under more than one different name in the database:
December 2006: Paul and Anita Gregg sold their shares to BCR Sports Ltd, believed to be a front company belonging to Robert Earl.
December 2004: With the voluntary liquidation of True Blue Holdings, the individual holdings of their 22,031,351 shares were converted directly to Everton Shares resulting in the following breakdown of EFC Ownership:
Immediately after the 2004 AGM, Anita Gregg was appointed to the Everton Board of Directors.
May 2004: With the departures of Carter, Tamlin and Abercromby from the Everton Board of Directors, the direct shareholding in EFC at Board level was reduced to around 2%; however, the remaining three directors (Kenwright, Gregg and Woods) held 75% of shares in TBH (or more, if you added in shares controlled by other members of the Gregg family – see above), giving the individual Board members collectively the equivalent of around 55% control in EFC.
2003: With Everton's stock increasing under David Moyes, Everton shares were changing hands privately for between £1,500 and £2,000.
2002: If you knew the right contacts, you could get a share in Everton for under £1,500, but the number of shares held outside the Board / TBH hovered around 5,500, or just 15%.
2001: With stability finally assured, share prices crept back up to around £1,250.
2000: A deal is finally struck, at a remarkable share
price of just £857, which enables the Kenwright consortium of True Blue
Holdings to buy 24,986 EFC Shares establishing a 70% controlling interest
in the Club for a 'mere' £20M, sending Agent Johnson packing... albeit
with a very tidy profit! The control of TBH is a whole other issue,
the holding company having issued 22,031,351 shares nominally valued at £1
each, distributed as follows:
1999: A period of profound uncertainty sees the real value of the shares drop to around £1,000 as no-one seems interested in taking on the floundering monster that is Everton FC.
1998: The prices sinks further to £2,500 amid rumours of financial problems for Johnson, who is seeking to sell up his interest in a rapidly falling market.
1997: Share prices soften to around £3,000, with serious concerns being raised about Everton's long-term viability in the cut-throat Premiership.
1996: Peter Johnson orchestrated a substantial rights issue of 25,000 £500-shares in September, increasing the number of shares to 30,000 in total most of which Johnson underwrote for an additional investment of around £15M in the club. A further 5,000 shares were issued at the peak of the Premiership moneyfest, with shares supposedly changing hands for as much as £4,000, which would have valued the club at close £100M. At the peak, Johnson sold 17% of his holding, netting perhaps as much as £20M and reducing his stake to 68%.
1995: There was a straight 2-for-1 stock-split in 1995, the resulting 5,000 shares worth nominally £4,000 each. This article from 1994 suggests this was in fact a rights issue that was part of the scheme for Peter Johnson to buy into the club and provide it with operating capital.
1994: At the end of the Moores era, there were just 2,500 shares in EFC, and they
changed hands (rarely!) for between £2,600 to perhaps as much as £5,000 each, giving the club a nominal
maximum book value of up to £20M. Lifelong Liverpool fan Peter Johnson bought 50%
of them for around £10M to take control of the Club. Johnson then
bought a further 875 shares from John Moores Jr, giving him an
unassailable 85% controlling interest.
NEW SHARE ISSUE?
Many Everton fans would like to invest in Everton FC Co Ltd but the availability and current elevated price of shares (in private transactions) is a limiting factor. Also, a share issue could have brought in much-needed cash to fund key initiatives such as ownership of the new Academy and training centre at Finch Farm (subsequently purchased as an investment by Liverpool City Council); establishment of the Everton Collection, and perhaps even money towards a new or improved stadium?.
However, it is quite clear that there will be no share issue for ordinary Everton fans unless and until the current Board of Directors see a way of it making them money (eg, through partial flotation, etc) as they won't risk the dilution of their current share ownership that would come with a stock split. This has been the situation for at least the last 10 years. The club could use the extra money but the Directors clearly do not want to voluntarily reduce their own personal worth (if this is indeed a risk), especially as Everton's stock value is perhaps rising once again under Roberto Martinez and the new £5.136 billion domestic TV deal.
While many fans believe this is what is needed to boost the coffers, and provide much needed transfer funds, the economic imperatives of the people who hold the reigns of power within the club force them to view the question of a new share issue somewhat differently. In the current climate of world football, the Everton Board members appear content to see the value of their investment maintained without offering any share issue to the fans.
Things changed, albeit briefly, following the dismal 2003-04 season, when Everton contrived to survive relegation with their smallest ever points total recorded at Goodison Park, followed by the meltdown at Board level as Paul Gregg faced off against Bill Kenwright to get TBH dissolved and allow further investment in the Club – including a £15M rights issue he wanted to be bought up by the fans.
The much vaunted promise of investment from Christopher Samuleson's Fortress Sports Fund would've given FSF a 29.9% stake in the resulting company, increasing it's book value to over £42M. However, this would've taken the Club in the opposite direction of increased ownership by the fans – something that was pursued in depth by Trust Everton as an alternative to the negativity promoted by the Blue Union movement, who wanted Kenwright to sell up.
They lacked broad support among Evertonians loyal to the concept of a 'fellow' fan at the helm, and subsequently faded into the internet ether. While Kenwright has successfully resisted any and all attempts by those beneath him to change things.