Tottenham’s billionaire owner Joe Lewis has set a £2billion asking price for Tottenham after rejecting a bid from a firm backed by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, according to the Sunday Times.
The newspaper claim that secretive American company Iconiq Capital has held extensive talks via buyout firms about taking control of the north London club.
The Sunday Times report that Iconiq, who began negotiations about buying Spurs with the private equity giant Blackstone in 2014, have tabled a bid of £882.6million for the Premier League outfit.
It is said that offer was firmly rejected by Tottenham’s billionaire owner Lewis, who is holding out for £2billion.
Iconiq Capital is a San Francisco fund that manages the wealth of a number of Silicon Valley billionaires, including Zuckerberg, the 33-year-old founder, chairman and chief executive of Facebook.
City sources cited by the Sunday Times said Iconiq have been pushing for three years to take Tottenham off the hands of the reclusive Lewis.
The 80-year-old, who lives in the Bahamas, is the majority shareholder of ENIC International Ltd, which controls Spurs.
Lewis appointed chairman Daniel Levy, who has a 29 per cent stake in ENIC, to run the Premier League club in 2001 and it has become increasingly successful on the pitch in recent seasons, finishing second in 2016-17.
Off it, Lewis has continued to build up his wealth and the Forbes Rich List for 2017 places him as the fifth richest person in the UK and 269th in the world.
Lewis has an estimated personal fortune of £4.5billion, up £240million from last year. That compares to a £2.4billion fortune back in 2008.
Lewis, who was born above a pub in London’s East End, helped his family build a catering business before selling it off and becoming a currency trader.
Spurs are going through a transformative spell following nearly two decades in the shadows of bitter rivals Arsenal.
The recently built a state-of-the-art training complex in Enfield and are constructing a 61,000-capacity, £800million stadium alongside White Hart Lane.