CHERRIES owner Bill Foley has had his minority stake in Scottish Premiership outfit Hibernian ratified by the club’s shareholders.

Black Knight Football Club, the parent company that owns Cherries, will invest a “seven-figure” sum in the Edinburgh outfit, with a view to improving infrastructure at their Easter Road home as well as their training facilities.

Hibernian claim the investment is the “first of its kind in Scotland”, with the club gaining approval from the Scottish FA for a “dual interest dispensation request”.

The Black Knight network now stretches to four clubs, with Cherries having sister clubs in the form of French side FC Lorient, Scottish club Hibs, and the announced-but-yet to be formed Auckland FC in New Zealand.

Cherries have already sent three players to Hibs in the January transfer window, with Emi Marcondes, Owen Bevan, and Nathan Moriah-Welsh all making the move north of the border.

Moriah-Welsh moved to Easter Road on a permanent basis, whilst Bevan saw his loan move ended prematurely after an injury set back.

Marcondes is also on loan at Hibs, with the Dane’s contract expiring at the end of the season.

Foley commented: “We are excited to announce a strategic partnership and investment in Hibernian FC.

“We look forward to partnering with the Gordon Family and other shareholders to accelerate the success of Hibernian FC and BKFC.

“We believe this partnership, with our commitment to invest in player development and infrastructure, can help BKFC and Hibernian FC reach new levels of success and help Scottish football continue to grow.”

The Gordon family will continue to control the majority shareholding at Easter Road.

A statement from the family read: “We are delighted that the partnership with Bill and Black Knight Football Club has been ratified; a partnership that’ll greatly benefit the long-term future of Hibernian FC. 

“We share the same values and ambitions as BKFC, and it was always part of Ron’s vision, and long-term plan, to bring in a minority partner.

“As a family, we have an unwavering commitment towards Hibernian FC and to building a winning, successful club.”

Hibernian chief executive Ben Kensell added: “This deal is ground-breaking in Scottish football and game-changing for Hibernian Football Club, so I’m really pleased it was ratified this evening. 

“The Gordon Family and I spent months in dialogue with Bill and Black Knight Football Club to ensure they were the right partners for this fantastic club, and during that time we quickly realised we were totally aligned with our ambitions for Hibernian FC. I’d also like to thank the Scottish FA for their openness, transparency, and support in getting this deal agreed.

“This is a really exciting time for everyone involved with Hibernian FC. The future looks very bright and fans should be excited.”