FB Roundup: Rob Walton, Mike Ashley, Gautam Adani

By Glen Ferris

Walmart heir Rob Walton aiming to buy Denver Broncos for record price tag
Rob Walton, the billionaire heir to the Walmart retail chain fortune, is targeting the purchase of the Denver Broncos American football team for a record-setting $4.5 billion.

According to Forbes, the winning bid hasn't yet been finalised, but it's expected to be announced later this month. If it does go ahead, the deal will be the biggest-ever acquisition of an NFL team.

Walton, who is the son of Walmart founder Sam Walton and is worth an estimated $59.6 billion, has been eyeing up the team since rumblings of a sale started in May.

The 77-year-old aims to buy the team from the Pat Bowlen Trust, after Bowlen originally purchased the team back in 1984 for $78 million. Under Bowlen’s watch until his death in 2019, the Denver Broncos went to seven Super Bowls, winning three of them.

Once the purchase is agreed, Walton will be the NFL's richest owner, with a higher net worth than the NFL's six richest owners combined.

Mike Ashley’s Fraser Group rescues UK fashion retailer Missguided
Frasers Group, the shopping empire founded by British billionaire retail entrepreneur Mike Ashley, has saved embattled UK-based multi-channel retailer Missguided from collapse with a £20 million rescue deal.

Frasers Group, which owns several high street brands including House of Fraser, Sports Direct and Jack Wills, purchased the women's fashion brand stock and intellectual property – saving 147 jobs in the process – after administrators from advisory firm Teneo issued the company with a winding-up petition by clothing suppliers who claim they are owed millions of pounds.

“We are delighted to secure a long-term future for Missguided, which will benefit from the strength and scale of Fraser Group's platform and our operational excellence,” Michael Murray, newly appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of Frasers Group and Ashley’s son-in-law, said to Sky News. “Missguided's digital-first approach to the latest trends in women's fashion will bring additional expertise to the wider group.”

Rival fashion retailers Boohoo, JD Sports and ASOS had been in talks to buy the ailing brand before Ashley swooped in. Missguided, was founded in 2009 by Nitin Passi and enjoyed rapid growth, however the company struggled to cope with rising supply costs, inflation and increased online shopping competition.

Ashley, who has a net worth of $4.5 billion according to Forbes, started his empire in 1982 with a £10,000 loan from his family to open his first sports and ski shop.

Gautam Adani’s family office buys Swiss building firm’s Indian interests
The family office of Asia’s richest man, Gautam Adani, has lined up another big purchase with the acquisition of the Indian operations of Swiss building-materials firm Holcim Ltd.

Holcim will sell its 63% stake in Mumbai-listed Ambuja Cements Ltd to Adani Group, after Adani put forward a $10.5 billion bid. The deal will also see Adani take over Holcim’s controlling stake in cement producer, ACC Ltd, for an additional $6.4 billion.

Holcim’s sale of its Indian business is expected to close by the end of 2022. The deal gives Adani a solid grip on India’s burgeoning but fragmented cement sector after beating out rival bids from companies such as JSW Group.

“Our move into the cement business is yet another validation of our belief in our nation’s growth story,” said Adani of the purchase which will bolster two other cement holdings. Adani Cementation Ltd and Adani Cement Industries Ltd.

Adani, the 11th richest person in the world (according to Forbes), added almost $30 billion to his wealth this year, bringing his net worth up to $106 billion.

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