South Korean firms team up to join Chelsea bidding process
MANCHESTER: South Korea’s Hana Financial Investment Company Limited and C&P Sports Limited have joined forces to become the latest consortium to join the race to buy Chelsea, the CEO of C&P Sports has confirmed to Reuters.
Premier League club Chelsea was originally put up for sale by owner Roman Abramovich after Russia invaded Ukraine before sanctions were imposed on the Russian oligarch by the British government, effectively giving them control .
Raine Group, a US bank, oversaw the sale process before the Russian billionaire was sanctioned, and set a deadline of 21:00 GMT for the submission of bids, with the Korean consortium anticipating a bid.
“We are in the process of arranging our bid for Chelsea FC,” Catalina Kim, CEO of C&P, told Reuters in a statement.
“Surprisingly enough, despite the size of the economy, there has never been any investment in (English) Premier League football clubs made by South Korean capital until now.
“Now it’s time for a change and we are ready to start a new chapter with Chelsea FC.”
A source familiar with the deal told Reuters that Hana International was financing the majority of the offer.
Hana Financial Investment Company Limited is a member of Korean banking giant Hana Financial Group – a South Korean investment bank and financial services company headquartered in Seoul, Korea.
Hana Financial Group is the title sponsor of the Korea Football League and the national football team.
C&P Sports Limited is a leading sports consultancy firm based in London and Seoul.
C&P Sports has worked on commercial agreements with several major clubs over the past 10 years, such as Kumhos Tires with Tottenham Hotspur, Nexen Tire with Manchester City and Hyundai Motors with Atletico Madrid.
The Korean consortium faces fierce competition to take over at Chelsea, with many other companies and businessmen planning to bid before the deadline.
Some famous faces are involved in several other potential deals. British property developer Nick Candy, a Chelsea supporter, said he was interested in making an offer and was joined by former player and manager Gianluca Vialli.
World Athletics chairman Sebastian Coe has joined a consortium including former Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton who are hoping to buy Chelsea.
Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg Wyss, who joined LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly to express interest, was joined by British businessman Jonathan Goldstein and his conservative counterpart Daniel Finkelstein.