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Chinese consortium in Hull City takeover bid

21 October 2016, 10:29

Hong Kong - A Chinese consortium has struck a preliminary agreement to buy English Premier League football club Hull City for 130 million ($159 million), conditional on approval by English football authorities, a statement said.

In the latest in a string of Chinese takeover moves, two companies, one based in Hong Kong and one based in mainland China, were named as the potential buyers in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

It comes after Chinese group Trillion Trophy Asia (TTA) completed their lengthy takeover of English club Birmingham City on Monday.

The Hull City buy-up is conditional on the consent of the Football Association and the Premier League, according to the statement to the Hong Kong exchange.

The "heads of terms" outlines the broad terms of the proposed acquisition, and the two parties have not entered into a legally binding agreement.

A previous takeover bid by a Chinese consortium headed by a brother and sister partnership collapsed last month, according to reports.

The club was put up for sale in 2014 after the FA rejected chairman Assem Allam's bid to change their name to Hull Tigers, a move which was vehemently opposed by the majority of Hull's fans.

Also read: Hull wins soccer's richest match, back in Premier League

The statement from Hong Kong-listed GreaterChina Professional Services says it is purchasing the club alongside Guangzhou-based Camsing Global.

On its company website Camsing Global says it offers "comprehensive services" including in promotion management and sports event operation. It also lists offices in Hong Kong and Beijing.

GreaterChina Professional Services is described as an "investment holding company" by the exchange.

By acquiring the football club, it said its directors believed the company would "expand and diversify its business and revenue stream", including merchandising and chainstore franchising, particularly targeting mainland China, the exchange document said.

European clubs -- as well as players, coaches, media assets and high-profile sponsorships -- have been eagerly snapped up by Chinese teams and investors.

Premier League side West Bromwich Albion were bought by a Chinese firm last month, while second-tier Aston Villa and Wolves also came under Chinese ownership this year.

Among other deals, Inter Milan was bought by a Chinese group in June, Atletico Madrid is 20 percent Chinese-owned and a state-backed Chinese fund holds a 13 percent stake in Manchester City.

A Chinese consortium agreed to buy AC Milan in a multi-million dollar deal this summer, although there have since been reports the potential buyers supplied false documents as part of the deal-making.

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