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English Premier League 2016-17

China’s Lander Sports agrees to buy stake in Premier League club Southampton

Deal could become one of the highest-profile Chinese acquisitions in English football

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 January, 2017, 5:42pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 January, 2017, 5:42pm

China’s Lander Sports Development Co. have agreed to buy a stake in Premier League club Southampton, in what could become one of the highest-profile Chinese acquisitions in English soccer.

The Chinese company signed an agreement with the club’s owner, Katharina Liebherr, according to a statement to the Shenzhen stock exchange on Thursday.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed but people familiar with the matter said late last year that Lander Sports may buy control for as much as £200 million pounds (HKD$1,965,297,700).

For Lander Sports, investing in the Premier League would give it a seat in the richest and most-watched soccer league on the planet.

Should the deal be completed, Southampton would join West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Birmingham City among teams sold to Chinese investors.

Lander Sports, based in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, builds stadiums across China, and has the rights to host the International Basketball Federation’s Stankovic Continental Cup, according to the company’s website.

Lander Sports shares have been suspended from trading since October.