Race to buy Aston Villa heats up as ice hockey boss David Freeman enters fray

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US venture capitalist David Freeman, chairman of ice hockey team Nashville Predators, is vying to buy relegated football giant Aston Villa, the Standard has learnt. 

The little-known entrepreneur, who runs private equity firm 36 Venture Capital, is one of several suitors interested in buying the club from current US owner Randy Lerner.

Freeman has set up a vehicle called AVFC 1874 to make his move for the Midlands club. 

Dealmakers say the team’s relegation from the Premier League has spurred a new impetus in negotiations, which had previously stalled due to disagreements over price and Lerner’s concerns to find the most suitable buyer. 

Lerner, who owned the Cleveland Browns, put the club up for sale in 2014 with a £200 million price tag, but relegation to the Championship — the first time the club has dropped out of the top flight in nearly 30 years — has cut the price to around £100 million.

A pack of other buyers have also been linked to the club, including a Chinese consortium and Oracle founder Larry Ellison. 

Last year it was also reported that the former Arsenal and England defender Tony Adams was leading a consortium called Halo to try and buy the team.

Freeman made his money from a medical waste business he founded called Commodore Medical Services. 

Freeman and Aston Villa did not comment.

Source Article from http://www.standard.co.uk/business/race-to-buy-aston-villa-heats-up-as-ice-hockey-boss-david-freeman-enters-fray-a3244416.html

May 10, 2016 |
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