In July 2018, Aston Villa’s management announced that Wes Edens, and Nassef Sawiris, an Egyptian billionaire had agreed to inject a generous stake in their football club. The club’s management said that EFL had already approved Wes Edens and Mr. Sawiris’ capital injection.
Based in Birmingham, England, the Aston Villa football club competes in English football league’s second tier. They were ejected from the league’s top tier in 2016, after consistently losing to their opponents. The football club had defended the league’s top tier for twenty-nine years.
Speaking during the announcement, Tony Xia, Aston Villa’s owner said that Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris funds would help the club to reclaim its lost glory, as one of England Premier League top-tier’s renowned contestant. Mr. Xia acquired the football club in June 2016.
Supporting Mr. Xia’s claims, Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris attested that their financial support would strengthen the team’s squad, a primary strategy that could help them rank up to the first division.
Mr. Xia attributed his team’s poor performance to a shortage of finances to run the team’s operations. Mr. Xia confessed that Aston Villa had lost over £94 million in 2016 when the team was pumped out of the English Premier League’s first division.
Nassef Sawiris is one of the wealthiest people in Egypt. As stated by Forbes and Bloomberg, Mr. Nassef Sawiris has an estimated net worth of $6.8 billion. The Egyptian billionaire owns nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing companies based in Texas and Iowa. In addition, Mr. Sawiris co-owns Lafarge Holcim, a giant cement manufacturer and Adidas AG, a US-based firm that focuses on the sports industry.
Wes Edens is the co-founder of Fortress Investment Group. Headquartered in New York, the group manages liquid and physical assets of close to 1500 investors around the world. Moreover, the firm coordinates mergers & acquisitions, and it provides its clients with industry-specific knowledge. Besides owning some investment vehicles, he co-owns Milwaukee Bucks, one of the champions listed in the National Basketball Association.
The two investors agreed to buy 55% of the team through NSWE, one of their joint ventures based in Egypt.