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FB Roundup: Brewing heir joins Chelsea FC bid, Twitter board’s strategy against Musk takeover, Conran restaurant chain goes on sale

In this week’s FB Roundup, Brewing heir Santo Domingo joins a Chelsea FC consortium; Twitter’s board of directors approves a ‘Poison pill’ strategy against Elon Musk’s takeover bid; and Sir Terence Conran’s former restaurant empire is up for auction.
Colombian-born billionaire brewing heir Alejandro Santo Domingo.

Brewing heir Santo Domingo backs Chelsea FC takeover bid
Colombian-born billionaire brewing heir Alejandro Santo Domingo [picured left] has announced his backing for the bid to buy Chelsea Football Club.

Santo Domingo, who sits on the board of the world’s largest brewer ABInBev, has joined part of the investor group spearheaded by former Liverpool FC and British Airways chairman Sir Martin Broughton.

Santo Domingo, who is estimated to be worth more than $2.5 billon according to Forbes, would become a minority shareholder in the club if the consortium (which also includes Indian businessman Vivek Ranadive and US billionaires Josh Harris and Dave Blitzer) bid is successful.

As the auction of the Premier League club enters its final stage, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and lifelong Chelsea fan George Osborne has also announced he is working with a rival consortium led by LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.

Robey Warshaw, the firm Osborne joined in 2021, will act as advisers to the group alongside Goldman Sachs.

The final group in the shortlist is headed by Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca and NBA chairman Larry Tanenbaum and has received backing by The True Blues Consortium – a supporters' group co-founded by former Chelsea captain John Terry.

The preferred bidder is expected to be anounced by the Raine Group, the merchant bank handling the sale, in the coming weeks, before being presented to the English government for approval.

Twitter board approves ‘Poison pill’ strategy against Elon Musk takeover bid
Twitter's board of directors has unanimously voted for a “Poison pill” defence if billionaire Elon Musk’s [pictured right] attempt to buy the social media giant and make it a private company is successful.

Following the Tesla and SpaceX owner and current largest Twitter shareholder’s offer to buy the company outright for more than $43 billion, the board of directors have approved a “Limited duration shareholder rights plan”, which is used to defend against hostile takeovers.

The plan would take effect if Mr Musk's 9% stake grows to 15% or more, with Twitter citing the tactic as enabling its investors to “Realise the full value of their investment” by reducing the likelihood any one person can gain control of the company.

The plan doesn’t preclude Musk - who has previously said that the social media platform “Needs to be transformed as a private company” in order to build trust with its users - from still taking over the company by voting out the current directors in a proxy battle.

“I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” said Musk in a securities filing in which he made his takeover offer. “I now realise the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form.”

"Having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilisation,” he later added.

Sir Terence Conran’s former restaurant empire up for auction
Private equity firm LDC has initiated the sale of D&D London, the restaurant group founded by the late Sir Terence Conran, with an auction expected to fetch approximately £100 million.

The collection, which includes London’s Coq d'Argent, New York’s Guastavino’s and Paris’ Alcazar, is working with Interpath Advisory, citing soaring inflation and staff shortages as reasons for the sale.

D&D is currently run by prominent industry executives Des Gunewardena and David Loewi [pictured left] who bought a controlling stake in Conran Restaurants in 2006. The group comprises 40+ celebrity-endorsed sites and has grown since Sir Terence Conran championed the resurgence in upmarket dining in the early 1990s.

The sale of D&D would mark its first change of ownership in almost a decade after LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, took control in 2013.

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