Everton have released a statement confirming Farhad Moshiri has increased his stake in the club.
Moshiri initially bought a 49.9% share in February 2016 after selling his stake in Arsenal. The deal came with the agreement that Moshiri would increase his stake in the Toffees over time.
Now the Iranian-born businessman has purchased a further 18.7 per cent through Blue Heaven Holdings Ltd, giving him a total holding of 68.6 per cent.
#Everton majority investor Farhad Moshiri has consolidated his control of the club by increasing his shareholding from 49.9% to 68.6%. It will rise to 77.2% by July 2019.— Greg O'Keeffe (@GregOK) September 11, 2018
He had bough the shares from chairman Bill Kenwright and board member Jon Woods.
Moshiri was already the majority investor with his previous shareholding given that 100% of the club's shares no longer exist, some having been lost to people who have died without family or during WW2 - meaning his 49.9% was a majority but this significantly increases that #EFC— Greg O'Keeffe (@GregOK) September 11, 2018
He has purchased those shares from chairman Bill Kenwright and board member Jon Woods. Moshiri is expected to increase his shareholding still further to 77.2 per cent no later than July 2019.
Woods is now expected to step down from the board following the sale of his shareholding while Kenwright, according to The Times’ Paul Joyce, will retain a 5% share.
Moshiri likely to have bought out Jon Woods and Arthur Abercromby completely. Bill Kenwright will have some of his shares, but will retain 5pc holding.— paul joyce (@_pauljoyce) September 11, 2018
Though still chairman Kenwright has been less involved in major decisions as Moshiri settled in to the role and this is likely to signal a further shift.
The elephant in the room of course is what this means for Alisher Usmanov.
The long-time business partner of Moshiri sold his stake in Arsenal last month and has continually been linked with a reunion at Everton.
Usmanov’s company USM already sponsors Finch Farm and now he has left Arsenal is free to invest in Everton should he choose.
It promises to be an interesting few months watching all this play out.
There has been significant change in boardroom personnel over the past few months as well with the coaching staff. The Toffees announced a boardroom reshuffle in May with Alexander Ryazantsev and Dr Keith Harris joining the board, Robert Elstone leaving for Super League and Prof Denise Barrett-Baxendale promoted to chief executive.
On the pitch a difficult season last time out saw Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh depart, Sam Allardyce come and go before Marcel Brands and Marco Silva arrived in June.
As a result this show of leadership and commitment from the man at the top is welcome and will hopefully signal a renewed spell of stability.
Moshiri’s focus now must turn to the new stadium project at Bramley Moore Dock while continuing to ensure the team remains competitive on the pitch.