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Preferred Bidder Status
Phil Pellow reports on a historic press conference confirming the selection of the Everton consortium, Houston Securities, as the preferred bidder for Kings Dock
The Press Conference was heed at the Merseyside Maritime Museum on Monday 23
July 2001 The top table comprised:
were announced as the preferred bidder for the King’s Dock Site.
From now on, the Club will work as part on a consortium which also includes the City Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and English Partnerships. EFC has a 49% share in the total development, and therefore a 49% share in all of the income from the whole site – including the non-football income from the Arena, the Cinema complex, the Hotel, the shops and private dwellings. Football income, like the Sky money etc, will be all EFC’s.
Ownership of the site is split accordingly, and the Arena is not excluded in a separate category – it is part of the whole development.
The total value of the development is set at about £300 million, valuing EFC’s share at close to £150 million after the scheme is completed.
During the next six months, the consortium will tie on the nuts and bolts of the development, organise the finance (much of which has already been bid) and prove the viability of the project. Liverpool City Council and the other partners will therefore be working with Everton during this process. It was clear that none of the partners expect any problems in raising the finance – it became clear during the due diligence process that the money can be found.
The regional transport and infrastructure plans will be amended to take account of the development, and proposals for improving access/egress will be put forward in due course.
There is no doubt that Liverpool Vision (on behalf of English Partnerships) and the City Council are totally behind the bid, and determined to make it succeed. All of the indications from all speakers today confirmed that they are certain all obstacles can be overcome, and that the Arena will be built on the site in the next four years or so. SFX will provide all of the entertainment to come onto site, eg pop tours etc, but there will also be provision for conferences and exhibitions etc.
My view is that 49% of £300 million is far better than 100% of £15 million. We are the biggest shareholder in the consortium, and the other shareholders, as committed as EFC to the whole scheme, ensure that the right mix of public and private money will be invested to ensure success.
The Arena is expected to be open for the start of 2004-05 season.
I was glad to see that Joe Dwyer, when introduced to me, could smile when mentioning the several thousand e.mails and letters he and the Board of LV had received as a result of the efforts from Everton for Kings Dock! They are aware of who EfKD are, where we stand, and how informed we are. I have no doubt that the bombardment had a profound effect on their thinking, if only to focus their efforts and ensure that EFC got a decent hearing.