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FB Roundup: Robert Maersk Uggla, Farhad Moshiri, Mike Ashley

FB Roundup: Robert Maersk Uggla, Farhad Moshiri, Mike Ashley
In this week’s FB Roundup, the Maersk family launches a green methanol firm to help cut shipping industry emissions; Farhad Moshiri sells Everton Football Club to an American investment firm; and Mike Ashley unloads Missguided fashion brand to Asian company Shein.
By Glen Ferris
Robert Maersk Uggla

Maersk family forms green methanol firm to help cut shipping industry emissions 
The billionaire family behind Danish shipping and logistics company A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S has created a new company to help reduce carbon emissions. 

The heirs of father-and-son founders Arnold Peter Møller and Peter Mærsk Møller are forming C2X, which will “produce green methanol in a bid to help cut emissions from the shipping industry, one of the world’s biggest polluters”. 

C2X, will operate “large-scale” production facilities and expects an annual capacity of more than three million tons of green methanol by 2030, according to a statement from the family fund A.P. Moller Holding A/S (APMH). 

As reported by Bloomberg, “There’s currently about 153,000 tons of green methanol production capacity in operation around the world, including demonstration plants that might not be selling volumes commercially, as well as those producing synthetic methanol. APMH estimates global demand for methanol could triple to about 300 million tons a year by 2050, with most being for the green kind.” 

A publicly traded family business controlled by the Møller family, Maersk is headquartered in Copenhagen, with subsidiaries and offices across 130 countries and more than 100,000 employees worldwide. The company, which saw a 2022 annual revenue of $81.5 billion (according to Forbes Global 2000), is ranked as the 161st largest public company in the world and has a fleet of 700 container ships, which accounts for 0.1% of all human-made CO2 emissions alone. 

C2X, which will be led by ex-Shell executive Brian Davis, is a key driver in Maersk’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040. 

Maersk head Robert Maersk Uggla has said “the biggest threat to its green transition is the lack of fuel which presents a ‘chicken-and-egg’ problem: few energy companies produce green methanol because there’s presently little demand, while ship owners are reluctant to build green vessels because the fuel market is so small.” 

However, the tide does appear to be turning towards green methanol, with Maersk having ordered 25 green methanol ships and increasing numbers of  container lines switching from less environmentally friendly liquefied natural gas. 

Farhad Moshiri

Farhad Moshiri sells Everton Football Club to American investment firm
British Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri, has sold Everton Football Club to Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners for an undisclosed sum, following a tenure that has been beset by financial difficulties and the threat of relegation. 

The deal sees Moshiri - who is the chairman and a shareholder of USM, a diversified Russian holding company with interests across the metals and mining, telecoms, technology and internet sectors - selling his 94.1% share of the loss-making Premier League team to 777 Partners. Everton officials have also confirmed that they have also “secured the complete financing” for their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool.  

777 Partners, which was co-founded by Josh Wander and Steve Pasko, has a broad portfolio of sports clubs already, including Genoa, Sevilla, Hertha Berlin and Standard Liege football clubs. 

“I have been open about the need to bring in new investment and complete the financing for our iconic new stadium which I have predominantly financed to date,” said Moshiri. “I have spoken to a number of parties and considered some strong potential opportunities. However, it is through my lengthy discussions with 777 that I have come to genuinely believe that they are the best partners to take our great club forward.”

The sale comes after calls were made for Moshiri to leave the club, following fans’ protests of Everton’s recent poor performance on the pitch and lack of investment in new players. Additionally, recent financial results showed that Everton made a £24.5m operating loss in 2022, their fifth annual loss in a row. The club is now also facing a relegation battle that could further worsen its financial prospects. 

In 2016, Moshiri announced he had sold his 14.65% stake in Arsenal Football Club to longstanding business partner Alisher Usmanov to launch a takeover at Everton FC. The same year, the club officially confirmed Moshiri's purchase of a 49.9% stake in the club, which he later increased to 94%. 

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley to sell Missguided fashion brand to Asian company Shein British billionaire Mike Ashley is in talks to sell the online clothing label Missguided to Shein, marking the Chinese fashion firm’s first acquisition of a British fashion brand. 

Less than 18 months after Frasers Group saved Missguided from insolvency, Shein and Frasers have reportedly “been in discussions for several weeks about a transaction, and it was unclear how soon it might be announced,” according to a report by Sky News. 

Headquartered in Singapore, Shein (which has recently been valued at more than $100 billon, which is currently worth more than H&M and Zara's parent company, Inditex, combined), is expected to go public within the next 12 months and is said to be lining up investment banks to handle an initial public offering. 

After exploding in popularity since being established in 2012, Shein now operates in more than 150 countries and recently closed a deal with SPARC Group (a joint venture between the Ted Baker-owner ABG and US shopping mall operator Simon Property Group) to allow distribution of the Forever 21 fashion brand. 

Missguided was founded by British businessman Nitin Passi in 2008 and was rescued from administration in 2022 by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, which also owns household name brands such as Evans Cycles, GAME, Gieves & Hawkes, House of Fraser, Jack Wills and Sports Direct.

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