Chinese firm ‘eyes Liverpool FC stake’

22 Aug

Liverpool playing Arsenal 13 January 2016Image copyright

A consortium led by a Chinese investment company is interested in buying a stake in Liverpool Football Club, according to media reports.

The Financial Times said Chinese state-owned firm Everbright and private equity firm PCP Capital Partners were behind the multi-million pound bid.

Other reports quoted club insiders as saying an unsolicited preliminary offer had already been submitted.

But the club and owners Fenway Sports Group said they had received no bids.

The FT quoted the club’s chief executive, Ian Ayre, as saying, “There is no bid and we have no ongoing investment discussion of any kind with anyone.”

US firm Fenway acquired Liverpool for £300m in 2010. The latest reported bid is said to value the club at more than £700m.

Quiet acquisitions

In recent years, Chinese investors and firms have quietly been acquiring stakes in football clubs in England, Spain, France, Netherlands and the Czech Republic, while President Xi Jinping has professed a love of the game.

In December last year, Manchester City’s parent company, City Football Group, sold a 13% stake, worth £265m, to a consortium of Chinese investors.

According to Deloitte’s Football Money League, Liverpool are the ninth richest football club in the world, with revenues of €391.8m (£339m) in the 2014-15 season.

Last financial year, the club made a £60m pre-tax profit, thanks to the £75m it made from selling Luis Suarez.

Without the boost from the Uruguayan footballer – which the club invested in eight new players – Liverpool would have broken even for the year.


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