China company to buy stake in La Liga club Espanyol
More Asian influence in Spanish football
China’s Rastar Group announced on Monday that it has agreed a deal in principle to buy a stake in La Liga side Espanyol.
The agreement reached with two of the club’s major shareholders will see the group’s Hong Kong unit take on between 45.1 and 56 per cent of the club’s shares.
The company primarily makes model cars.
According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, the investment will see around 65 million euros (HK$555 million) pumped into the financially stricken club that perennially lives in the shadow of city rivals and European champions Barcelona.
Of the reported investment, 14 million will go to buying the shares with the rest set to help clear the club’s debts.
The deal is the latest example of the rising influence of the Asian market in Spanish football.
Earlier this year the Chinese Wanda Group bought a 20 percent stake in 2014 La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.
Singaporean businessman Peter Lim is also the major shareholder in Valencia.
Last week, Chinese reports claimed a group was set to buy a stake in Premier League giants Manchester United.