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Chinese Super League

China’s Beijing Guoan now worth more than Italy’s AC Milan at US$807 million after takeover

Developer Sinobo Land buys 64 per cent of the club from Chinese financial services giant CITIC for US$514m

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 January, 2017, 11:40am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 January, 2017, 11:40am

Beijing club Guoan FC has been bought by a Chinese real estate developer, according to a statement on the Hong Kong stock exchange, with the club now valued at US$807 million, which is more than Italy’s AC Milan.

Developer Sinobo Land bought 64 per cent of the club from Chinese financial services giant CITIC for US$514m, according to the Hong Kong statement.

CITIC kept the remaining 36 per cent, according to the statement, and added the club would be renamed Beijing Sinobo Guoan.

The club is now valued at US$807m, making Guoan FC worth more than Milan, who are one of the most valuable European clubs, according to consultant KPMG.

Milan’s value is higher than the over $790m offered last year by a Chinese consortium to buy 99 per cent of the shares in AC Milan.

The Milan agreement set the value of the Italian giants at US$825.4m, including US$234m debt.

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The Guoan deal is also worth significantly more than Spanish club Atletico Madrid, which Bloomberg reported to be worth between US$565m and US$618m.

On the pitch, however, Guoan are not such a big-hitter as they haven’t won the league title since 2009 and finished fifth last season, and they are not known internationally.

But at home the club has an adoring legion of fans, with 40,000 regularly filling the stands at Beijing’s Workers’ Stadium, decked out in the team’s green and yellow.

However, China has been trying to limit the huge amounts of money recently spent by their clubs to buy foreign players.

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New measures limiting the number of foreign players are aimed at combating “increasing irrational investment” and the lack of funding for stadiums and training facilities, according to the Chinese Football Federation.

Nevertheless, there has been a stampede of Chinese investment in foreign clubs, players and coaches after President Xi Jinping said he wanted the world’s most populous nation to become a global football power.