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S'porean Lim eyes Valencia takeover

GOOD OFFER: Billionaire Lim wants to clear Valencia's S$530-million debt and invest in the playing squad.


    Dec 24, 2013

    S'porean Lim eyes Valencia takeover


    SINGAPOREAN businessman Peter Lim has made a bid to take over financially stricken La Liga side Valencia and wipe out its debts, the club's president, Mr Amadeo Salvo, announced on Sunday.

    The club's hierarchy has been looking for investors since principal creditor Bankia refused earlier this month to refinance the combined 306-million-euro (S$530-million) debt the club and its foundation have with the bank.

    Mr Salvo said that Bankia had yet to give the green light to Mr Lim's proposal and had asked for more time to study other offers.

    However, he insisted that, given the 60-year-old's willingness to clear the club's debts and invest heavily in the playing squad, Mr Lim's offer would be a difficult one to match.

    "He has made us a proposal that will clear the debt owed by the foundation and Valencia to Bankia and will invest a significant amount in the first team immediately," said Mr Salvo.

    "It is one of the best two or three biggest offers made for a club in world football."

    Moreover, according to Mr Salvo, Mr Lim has set a deadline of Jan 15 for the offer to be accepted, so the club can reinforce their squad in the January transfer window with the hope of challenging for Champions League places, come the end of the season.

    Mr Lim has previously been linked with investment in football clubs, most notably when he bid for Liverpool in 2010, and has a net worth of US$2.3 billion (S$2.9 billion), according to American business magazine Forbes.

    Valencia's fortunes on and off the field have suffered since a financial crisis struck Spain in 2009.

    The club have been unable to finish work on their new Mestalla stadium and have had to sell a number of their best players.

    And, last week, it was announced that Valencia are one of seven Spanish clubs to be investigated by the European Commission for alleged illegal state aid for the role in which local government played in guaranteeing the loans taken out by the club from Bankia.