Manchester City target China expansion with $400m investment

Man CityManchester City believe a new $400 million (377 million euro) investment from a Chinese consortium will enable it to expand its presence in the region.

In a statement on its website Tuesday, Premier League leaders City said it had agreed to sell just over 13 per cent of the club, in a deal which values City Football Group (CFG), City’s owners, at 3 billion dollars.

“Football is the most loved, played and watched sport in the world and in China, the exponential growth pathway for the game is both unique and hugely exciting,” Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the chairman of CFG, said.

“We have therefore worked hard to find the right partners and to create the right deal structure to leverage the incredible potential that exists in China, both for CFG and for football at large.

“Our belief is that we now have an unrivalled platform to grow CFG, our clubs and companies, both in China and internationally and we will be working hard with our new partners to realise the potential that this deal creates.”

City already own New York City, Melbourne City and have a minority shareholding in Yokohama F Marinos, in Japan’s J-League.

“The capital from the share acquisition will be used by City Football Group to fund its China growth, further CFG international business expansion opportunities and further develop CFG infrastructure assets,” the statement read.

“The deal will create an unprecedented platform for the growth of CFG clubs and companies in China and internationally, borne out of CFG’s ability to provide a wealth of industry expertise and resources to the rapidly developing Chinese football industry.”

The consortium is led by China Media Capital (CMC), described as China’s leading media, entertainment, sports and internet dedicated investment company and will see new shares created.

The agreement is subject to regulatory approval, but CMC chairman, Ruigang Li said the deal would help football expand in China.

“Football is now at a fascinating and critical stage of development in China,” he said.

“We see unprecedented growth opportunities in both its development as an industry, being China’s most watched sport, and its inspirational role of bringing people of all ages together.

Source: GNA

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