Chelsea: Who is Hansjorg Wyss, the businessman Abramovich has offered club to?

Swiss businessman Hansjorg Wyss claims he’s been offered the chance to buy Chelsea, with Roman Abramovich keen to sell the Premier League club.

Reports emerged on Wednesday morning that Abramovich has put the Blues up for sale and is seeking £4 billion. 

However, the Telegraph claim he can expect to receive bids in the region of £2bn.

This week Wyss revealed that he and three others have been presented the opportunity to purchase the club.

“Abramovich is one of Putin’s closest advisers and friends,” Wyss told Blick. “Like all other oligarchs, he is also in a panic. Abramovich is trying to sell all his villas in England. He also wants to get rid of Chelsea quickly. I and three other people received an offer on Tuesday to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.

“I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking far too much. You know, Chelsea owe him £2 billion. But Chelsea has no money. Means: Those who buy Chelsea should compensate Abramovich.”

Wyss continued by insisting that he would only buy Chelsea in a consortium consisting of six or seven investors.

Who is Wyss?

According to the Daily Mail, the 86-year-old, who has no previous history of investing in sport, is worth £4.3bn. By comparison, Forbes this week listed Abramovich’s net worth at $12.6bn, or little more than £9bn.

His background is in engineering, receiving a master’s degree in civil and structural engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in 1959 before earning an MBA from Harvard.

Wyss went on to work for car manufacturer Chrysler in various roles that took him to Pakistan, Turkey and the Philippines, before working in the steel industry and running a side business selling planes.

Wyss met a surgeon through his side focus who had co-founded medical device manufacturer Synthes. Sensing an opportunity to expand into the United States, Wyss founded Synthes USA in 1977 and became president of the company.

Today, Synthes USA is the world’s largest maker of implants to mend bone fractures.

Wyss was Synthes’ worldwide CEO and chairman. In 2012, he sold the company to Johnson & Johnson for $19.7bn in cash and stock.

Forbes have named the Swiss “among the most philanthropic people in the world”. He has donated millions to environmental causes in recent years and has pledged to donate $1bn to conservation efforts around the world.

Wyss is last known to live in Wyoming in the United States, while he also owns a 900-acre ranch in California. Among his hobbies include hiking, skiing and backpacking.

As of March 2022, the medical magnate is ranked 451 on Forbes’ list of billionaires with a real time net worth of £4.3bn.

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