EVERTON FC: SHARES INFORMATION

Share Distribution  Who currently owns Everton Shares?
Fortress Sports Fund How would this affect current shareholders?
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

 

 SHARE OWNERSHIP

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 (0151 707 1707).  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 1,250 to 1,500, and have done so for a number of years, the price remarkable independent of 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 2008 (the last date currently available):
  

Bill Kenwright   8,754 Shares
Robert Earl     8,146 Shares
John Woods   6,622 Shares
Sir Philip Carter 714 Shares
Keith Wyness 2 Shares

The Articles of Association used to require that each director hold at least 3 shares in The Company... a requiremnt that Keith Wyness dodged so,mehow 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 acress the Med in Sir Philips yacht.

Prior to that  Paul and Anita Greg left the 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 current share value (October 2009) is not much increased from the 1,200 reputedly paid by Robert Earl for the Gregss' shares in 2004.  With 35,000 shares outstanding,  this gaves 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) own 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.
  

FORTRESS SPORTS FUND

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 happened:

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 it's 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 must have 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 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 Greg 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 recent Everton share prices and related activity. 

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:
 

EFC Share Ownership        
BCR Sports Ltd 8,146 23%    16,292,000  
Bill Kenwright Ltd 7,053 20% 14,106,000  
Jon Vincent Woods  3,209 9%         6,418,000  
Jon Woods Ltd 3,203 9%         6,406,000  
Grantchester  2,773 8%         5,546,000  
Arthur John Abercromby  1,830 5%         3,660,000  
Bill Kenwright 973   3%         1,946,000  
Barnett Waddingham Trustees Scotland Ltd 973 3%         1,946,000  
Philip David Carter  714 2%         1,428,000  
William Kenwright 473 1%           946,000  
              
All Others 5,653 16% 11,306,000   Small Everton Shareholders
Total 35,000 100.0% 70,000,000   Based on 2,000 share value

December 2006:  Paul and Anita Gregg sold their shares to BCR Sports Ltd, believed to be a front company belonging to Robert Earl. 

December 2004With 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:   

EFC Directors        
Kenwright 8,754 25.0% 7,501,974  
Woods, J 6,622 18.9% 5,675,487  
Gregg, P 3,779 10.8% 3,238,376  Plus 12.5% from wife & son?
Others        
Abercromby 1,935 5.5% 1,658,664  
Grantchester 2,773 7.9% 2,376,461  
Carter 721 2.1% 617,897   Sir Philip Carter, Life President
Tamlin 119 0.3% 101,983   Keith Tamlin, ex-Director
Gregg, A 4,075 11.6% 3,491,880   Paul Gregg's Wife, Anita
Gregg, D 292 0.8% 250,109   Paul Gregg's Son
Other ex-TBH 406 1.2% 348,102   Jimmy Mulville, Willy Russell
All Others 5,224 15.8% 4,734,068   Small Everton Shareholders
Total 35,000 100.0% 29,995,000   Based on 857 share value

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 is reduced to around 2%; however, the remaining three directors (Kenwright, Gregg and Woods) hold 75% of shares in TBH (or more, if you add 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, despite the bubble in football finance finally bursting, Everton shares were changing hands privately for between 1,500 and 2,000.

2002:  If you know the right contacts, you can get a share in Everton for under 1,500, but the number of shares held outside the Board / TBH hovers 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: 
 

TBH Directors        
Kenwright 7,228,359 32.8% 7,025,482  
Abercromby 1,613,978 7.3% 1,568,679  
Woods, J 5,648,922 25.6% 5,490,375  
Gregg, P 3,331,891 15.1% 3,238,376  
Gregg, A 3,592,716 16.3% 3,491,880   Paul Gregg's Wife, Anita
TBH Others        
Gregg, D 257,331 1.2% 250,109   Paul Gregg's Son
Others 358,154 1.6% 348,102   Jimmy Mulville, Willy Russell
Total 22,031,351 0.97 21,413,002   1 shares

1999A 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 bring in much-needed cash to fund key initiatives such as the new Academy and training centre at Halewood (currently stalled); establishment of a trust for the David France 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.  The club could use the extra money but the Directors may 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 David Moyes.

In the current climate of world football recession, and with the next TV deal unlikely to match the existing one, the Everton Board members will be hard pressed to see the value of their investment maintained, never mind make gains, if they were to allow a share issue for the fans. While many fans believe this is what is needed to boost the coffers, 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...

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 to be bought up by the fans. 

But the latest promise is investment from Christopher Samuleson's Fortress Sports Fund would give them a 29.9% stake in the resulting company, increasing it's book value to over 42M.  This would take the Club in the opposite direction of increased ownership by the fans.

Michael Kenrick
24 December 2005

 

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