By The Esk
This morning the news was confirmed that Farhad Moshiri, Everton’s major shareholder had jointly acquired the iconic Royal Liver Building with Luxembourg based Corestate.
Corestate is a real estate investment manager and co-investor (ie invests alongside other wealthy investors). It has according to its website over €16 bn worth of investments globally. It is listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange.
Property investors by their nature are long term investors usually looking for steady capital appreciation and rising income.
The Royal Liver Building would be attractive for a number of reasons. Firstly it probably represents very good value, Liverpool in global terms is not an expensive city to buy property. The building is iconic and in one of the most famous locations in the world – it really is a prime, instantly recognisable, statement of a building.
In addition to the value, there’s likely to be development potential in upgrading the office facilities to attract high quality tenants. The final consideration is that with the £ so weak, it’s a good opportunity for overseas investors to acquire real estate.
That’s the boring bit, and not particularly relevant to Everton.
The exciting bit is what it says about the view of Moshiri with regards to our City, and of course, most importantly his view of his Everton investment to date.
In my opinion it lays a few concerns to rest. Firstly, it’s a total confirmation of what’s about to happen at Bramley Moore. It says the stadium will be built, we will have the funding secure, and that the wider investment and development of the Liverpool Waters/Northern Docks is well underway.
It also demonstrates his willingness and ability to invest alongside others. This shouldn’t be lost when we start considering the investment required around Bramley Moore, over and beyond the stadium. Corestate have huge experience in many forms of retail and other other property developments – it’s not too unreasonable to suggest further involvement in the future?
It wouldn’t make a huge amount of sense to part acquire the Liver Buildings, without the knowledge that his investment plans in Everton Football Club and Bramley Moore specifically are going to plan and were assured in the future.
It also says a huge amount about the length of his future commitment to the club. I’ve read elsewhere suggestions that he’ll turn his investments over when the stadium is complete, making a short-term profit on the increase in value.
This purchase says the exact opposite – it says we have a major shareholder who is putting down roots into the City and local community. So, we have a major shareholder who has invested in the club, brought in sponsors with more to follow, is now buying our prime real estate, the most iconic building in our City, and let it be remembered, will invest in the L4 community at Goodison Park when it is no longer our ground.
In my opinion, this is significant news, it’s confirmation of his commitment, it’s confirmation of what’s happening along the waterfront, and it showing a style of ownership not seen since the Moores at Everton, someone not just looking to take cash out of a football club (read Glazers) but investing long term in club and community – a true Blue.
What a journey we are embarking upon.