It has been announced that a consortium led by Chairman and CEO of Dunkin’ Brands Inc and life-long Orient fan Nigel Travis has purchased Leyton Orient, bringing Francesco Becchetti’s disastrous three-year ownership to an end.
The takeover does not involve Dukin’ Brands Inc, Eagle Investments 2017 Limited is the company which has purchased the club. Eagle Investments was established last month in Nigel Travis’s name and he will take the role of Chairman. The consortium also includes Kent Teague, who is the principal investor.
Nigel Travis has been a supporter of Orient all his life, having grown up in Woodford, Essex. The 67-year-old, has previously worked for many large companies at high levels of those corporations. He was previously President and COO of Blockbuster before moving on to Papa John’s where he served as President & CEO. In 2009 he became Chief Executive Officer of Dunkin’ brands and later took on the role of Chairman of the Board.
His statement on the official website reads:
[blocktext align=”center”]I have been a passionate Leyton Orient supporter for my entire life and feel a great sense of responsibility to the players, the staff, the fans and the community. We have challenges in front of us, and I am not under-estimating those. However, over the long-term, we believe we can return the Club to the Football League[/blocktext]
Kent Teague is the Managing Partner of private equity firm Gold Creek Capital. Teague originates for Dallas, Texas. He has expressed his long-term interest in owning sports team. He posted the following message on his twitter account shortly after the takeover was announced:
— Kent Teague (@KentTeague) June 22, 2017
The consortium have also outlined their intentions to ‘stabilise the Club and to re-engage the fans’ which includes fan representation on the board.
Francesco Becchetti also made a statement which reads:
[blocktext align=”center”]I invested a great deal in the Club in good faith and have delivered the Club to Nigel Travis and his consortium without any debts to the banks, without arrears for taxes and salaries and in a normal situation with its suppliers. This is a position from which it can grow. Over the last two years, I have, unfortunately, not been able to dedicate myself to following the Club as closely as I would have wanted. This is clearly the moment to leave the Club to others and I know that in doing so I am leaving it in good hands with Nigel Travis. I give my sincere best wishes to the fans and to the Club for a bright future, full of success.[/blocktext]
News of the takeover will be a great relief to O’s fans who would have been fearing for the club’s future in recent weeks. There is now much work ahead for the new ownership in order to get the club ready for the new season.
One of the first tasks will be to appoint a new chief executive. While the recruitment process is ongoing, it has been announced that local businessman and future investor Marshall Taylor will serve as Chief Executive on an interim basis.
An announcement regarding season tickets for the upcoming campaign is expected soon.