Billionaire Swiss magnate in talks to buy Chelsea

Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss has claimed he has been offered the chance to join a £2bn consortium with ‘six or seven’ other investors to buy Chelsea.

The 86-year-old, worth a reported £4.3bn, has admitted interest in purchasing the Stamford Bridge club from Roman Abramovich, but only in a consortium.

Russian-Israeli billionaire Abramovich has publicly expressed his desire to retain ownership of Chelsea, but that could prove close to impossible should the UK Government impose sanctions on the 55-year-old.

Wyss has admitted he will look into the details of any possible deal to buy Chelsea, with the asking price thought to push beyond £2billion.

“Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas in England, he also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly,” Wyss told Swiss newspaper Blick.

“I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.

“I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2 billion. But Chelsea has no money. As of today, we don’t know the exact selling price.”

Abramovich attempted to step back from the daily running of Chelsea on Saturday, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Hansjorg Wyss, 86, is a Swiss billionaire who founded Synthes USA – a medical device manufacturer – in  1977.

Synthes USA is the world’s largest maker of implants to mend bone fractures.

Wyss sold the company to Johnson & Johnson in 2012 in a deal worth $20.2bn (£15.2bn). Synthes is now part of their DePuy division.

In 2017, DePuy Synthes launched its Titanium 3-D Printed Implants for use in facial reconstruction.

According to Forbes, Wyss has a net worth of $5.8bn (£4.3bn) as of 2021. He now holds stakes in biotech firms NovoCure and Molecular Partners.

Wyss has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to environmental charities and has more recently pledged money to politically progressive causes.

Forbes says that Wyss is “among the most philanthropic people in the world.”

In 2013, he signed The Giving Pledge, thereby agreeing to give away the majority of his fortune. Other pledgers include Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett.

The 86-year-old has no record of owning a football club or investing in sport. 

The Blues boss has tried to hand the ‘stewardship and care’ of Chelsea to the club’s charitable foundation trustees.

That led the Charity Commission to contact the Stamford Bridge club for more detail on Abramovich’s plans, after several of the trustees raised concerns over technicalities.

Labour MP Chris Bryant has called for the UK Government to impose sanctions on Abramovich after a number of Russian oligarchs have already fallen under such penalties. – Sportsmail

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