Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has completed a deal which will see him acquire 27 per cent of Premier League club West Ham for £150m.
The 46-year-old could use the initial investment to launch a takeover bid of the Hammers, who are currently majority owned by David Gold and David Sullivan.
Kretinsky has stakes in both Royal Mail and Sainsbury’s, and co-owns Czech top-flight football outfit Sparta Prauge.
The deal values David Moyes-managed West Ham at close to £700m and will see Kretinsky, as well as his business partner Pavel Horsky, take seats on the club’s board.
“I am delighted this detailed process has now been successfully concluded. I am passionate about football,” said Kretinsky, known as the Czech Sphinx.
“I greatly appreciate the respect and exceptional history and tradition of West Ham as well as its loyal and passionate supporter base and also the highly inspiring role it plays in social programmes and initiatives.
“The development and growth of the club in recent years has been clear for everyone to see and I am delighted to be part of what I believe is a very exciting future ahead.
“Having been to the London Stadium to watch David Moyes’ team, I know it is an incredible time to become part of the West Ham family.
“I feel privileged to now have the opportunity to help everyone here build on the proud traditions of this great club.”
Kretinsky is estimated to be worth £2.9 bn and now has a stake in a West Ham side who are third in the Premier League and flying in the Europa League.
“On behalf of the board I am very pleased to welcome Daniel Kretinsky, Pavel Horsky and 1890s holdings a.s. to West Ham.
“We are always looking to continue to progress and Daniel’s involvement brings investment which strengthens the club’s position, and in turn will assist in the development of the club’s key areas of focus.
“David Sullivan and David Gold have always been very open about finding the right investors to join them on the journey as custodians of West Ham.
“And Daniel’s strong business acumen and football experience will be of huge benefit to the club.
“We very much look forward to working with him and Pavel.”
The Hammers are sandwiched between giants Manchester City and Liverpool on 23 points from 11 games in the league, and next play on 20 November away to Wolves.