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American billionaire buys West Ham shares

tripThe Icelandic’s have finally sold their remaining ten percent shareholding of West Ham United to an American billionaire called Tripp Smith.

Albert ‘Tripp’ Smith joins the board of West Ham directors to oversee his new investment.

Smith is a Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group and a Founder of GSO Capital Partners which he sold to Blackstone in 2008 for about $1bn.

However, Claret and Hugh understand that Smith has bought the shares personally as a private investment and not on behalf of the Blackstone Group.

A senior source at the club told Claret and Hugh He just likes football & West Ham. It’s not a financially motivated move for him but driven by his love of football &  West Ham”.
“He will help us spread the West Ham brand in the USA.  He is not going to buy any more shares, but it’s good news for the club. We are 100% owned now by ‘friends. Tripp has been to quite a few West Ham games already. He spends a few days a month in the UK, but comes  to see us whenever he is in the country”

The sale of shares ends an eleven-year association with the former Icelandic consortium who were victims of the 2008 financial crisis.


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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

16 comments on “American billionaire buys West Ham shares

  1. Of course just a friend, not hoping to make any money when the club gets sold on.

  2. “He just likes football & West Ham. It’s not a financially motivated move for him but driven by his love of football & West Ham” – yer right!

    Billionaire American invests in West Ham out of his love of the Club – I’m convinced, I am – he’s ‘pwoper West Ham’ him – likes popcorn and everything!

  3. Another banker on the board. Already got three of them!

  4. Didn’t David Sullivan have an option on these shares at an agreed strike price? If so, the obvious question is how much did he sell the option for? Smith couldn’t buy the shares without buying out the option. Given Smith’s history, it’s highly unlikely he would be buying a small minority stake without either an exit strategy or an agreed pathway to increase his holding.

  5. Whats the equity split between the owners now?

  6. Blackstone?
    Isn’t that from a Jason Bourne film?

  7. and so it begins

  8. Hopefully he can add some funds when it comes to transfers 👍👍👍

  9. Seems like most of my fellow WHU friends (above) have totally missed the point
    Albert “Tripp” Smith, is just the start of things to come; things that could be seriously good!!
    It may be a good educational idea to check out the Blackstone, including one of its founders, who is one of the wealthiest (top 100) men in the world.
    This guy, Tripp, is capable of one day, buying out the 2 Dave’s, and then the sparks could fly!!

    • Blackstone are mostly interested in relatively short term investments where they have a preferred time horizon and a pre-identified exit strategy. Whether Smith has different objectives in his personal capacity we can’t tell, but it isn’t a development that I find welcome. If he has paid current valuation to acquire Sullivan’s options at the original valuation then Sullivan has just recosted his controlling stake to a real knockdown price, probably less than 50% of the original cost.

  10. Tripp Smith is an American Finance guy involved with Blackstone, who own Merlin Entertainment, (Legoland, Alton Towers etc.) so he could conceivably be interested in cross pollination of entertainment ventures…. West Ham could be turned into a global Amusement …….??

  11. The amount Tripp paid for a package including shares is confidential but it is big and way over the the original £105m valuation. It would value the club at over £500m if sold .

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