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Amer, CITIC line up rival bids for club

Updated: 2017-02-24 08:17

Amer, CITIC line up rival bids for club

Southampton fans cheer before the club's match with Inter Milan on Nov 3, 2016, in Southampton, the United Kingdom. [Photo / Agencies]

Chinese buyers including materials giant Amer International and CITIC Securities Co Ltd are readying a rival 246-million-pound ($305 million) bid for English soccer club Southampton, a source with knowledge of the plans told Reuters.

The bid for the English Premier League side marks a potential challenge to an earlier planned acquisition by Lander Sports Development, which said in January that it was taking a stake in the club.

Southampton takes on Manchester United in the final of the League Cup on Sunday, after having beaten Liverpool at Anfield last month in the semifinals. The Saints last played a major final at Wembley Stadium in 1979.

Lander declined to comment. Amer International and CITIC Securities did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The new consortium, which also includes other private investors, was looking to buy 100 percent of the English south coast club for close to 2.1 billion yuan ($305 million), the person added.

Industry insiders say a number of sports-related deals have hit hurdles after the government said it would rein in risks from "irrational" outbound investments, with particular focus on sectors including hotels, entertainment and sports.

Should the deal go through, Southampton would join fellow English clubs Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion and second-tier sides Aston Villa, Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers in having Chinese investment.

Southampton, which is currently 11th in the Premier League, has been a model of success since being saved by the late Swiss billionaire Markus Liebherr in 2009.

REUTERS

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