Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Trains, football clubs and Chinese billionaires

It appears Chinese property giant Dalian Wanda has put its plans to purchase a Premier League football club on hold.

The Financial Times is reporting that Dalian Wanda, controlled by billionaire Wang Jianlin, is set to pay EURO 40m to EURO 45m for a 20pc stake in Spanish champions Atletico Madrid. Here is a link to the Financial Times article:


I had mentioned on Betaville several times in recent months how Dalian Wanda has been scouring Europe, including the Premier League, for a top football club to purchase.

One club Dalian Wanda cast its eye over late last year was Tottenham Hotspur, according to my well-placed sources, although I don't think the Chinese group ever got close to making a formal approach for the London club.

Dalian Wanda was also reported to have approached the owners of Southampton in early 2014 but later formally denied any interest. Here is a link to Dalian Wanda's vehement denial:


Now that the Atletico Madrid is almost done and dusted, my sources say Dalian Wanda is likely to pause for breadth and drop its Premier League aspirations for the time being.

Still, at least the Chinese are maintaining their voracious appetite for British infrastructure assets, with Li Ka-shing's investment vehicles snapping up Eversholt Rail for £2.5 billion. Here is a link to the Financial Times article on today's deal announcement:


Elsewhere, it's been a busy day in the oil sector with Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield services company, announcing the purchase of a 45pc stake in Russian business Eurasia Drilling for $1.7 billion.

The deal has raises eyebrows given the the oil price fall and sanctions imposed on Russia. So, market participants are asking whether Schlumberger is making a call that soon sanctions against Russia will end and the oil price has bottomed out?

On another note, I see T5 Oil and Gas, an acquisition vehicle, has denied a report it is looking at carrying out a reverse takeover of embattled Afren, which is being stalked by several suitors. Here is a link:


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