China real estate group 'targets Southampton'

2016-11-04 13:00
Southampton (Supplied)

Beijing - A Chinese conglomerate is in talks to take over English Premier League football club Southampton, Bloomberg News reported, after a string of European teams were bought by Chinese investors.

Lander Sports Development Co is in talks over a deal which could be worth £200m, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter.

China has been making inroads in English football in recent months, with Premier League team West Bromwich Albion and second-tier sides Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers all bought by Chinese investors.

Chinese companies are said to see the deals as attractive as traditional growth drivers, like real estate, cool, and with Chinese President Xi Jinping expressing a desire to promote the sport at home.

Southampton finished sixth in the Premier League last season and had a profit of £12m on sales of £113.7m for the year ended June 30, 2015.

The chairman of Lander, Gao Jisheng, is a former soldier who joined local government and then, like many others with good connections, entered the real estate industry in the 1990s, in time for the world's largest property boom.

His firm has recently expanded into entertainment and sports, in 2015 signing an agreement with Venetian Macau, a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands, to explore the sports event market.

Lander, based in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, did not respond to a request for comment from AFP.

Its shares have been suspended from trading on the Shenzhen stock exchange since Monday at its own request, pending what it called a "major asset restructuring" in a statement to the exchange.

Read more on:    southampton  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

After slow starts to their respective 2018/19 Absa Premiership campaigns, who will finish the season ranked higher?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.