March 18, 2022
By Peter Hall
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – South Korea companies Hana Financial Investment Company Limited and C&P Sports Limited have combined to become the latest consortium to join the race to buy Chelsea, C&P Sports CEO has confirmed to Reuters.
Premier League club Chelsea were initially put up for sale by owner Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine before sanctions were imposed on the Russian oligarch by the British government, effectively giving them control.
Raine Group, a U.S. bank, has been overseeing the sale process since before the Russian billionaire was sanctioned, and have set a 2100 GMT deadline for offers to be submitted, with the Korea consortium planning a bid.
“We are in the process of arranging our bid for Chelsea FC,” C&P CEO Catalina Kim told Reuters in a statement.
“Surprisingly enough, despite the size of the economy, there has never been investment into (English) Premier League football clubs made by South Korean capital so far.
“Now it is time for a change and we are ready to start the new chapter with Chelsea FC.”
A source close to the deal told Reuters Hana International are funding 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 Korean Football League and National football team.
C&P Sports Limited is a leading sports consultancy company based in London and Seoul.
C&P Sports has worked on commercial deals with several big clubs in the last 10 years, such as Kumhos Tyres with Tottenham Hotspur, Nexen Tyre with Manchester City and Hyundai Motors with Atletico Madrid.
The Korean consortium faces stiff competition to take over at Chelsea, with numerous other companies and business people planning to make a bid before the deadline passes.
Some famous faces are involved in several other prospective bids. British property developer Nick Candy, a Chelsea supporter, said he was interested in making a offer, and has been joined by former player and manager Gianluca Vialli.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has joined a consortium including former Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton that hopes to buy Chelsea.
Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg Wyss, who has linked up with LA Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly to express an interest, has been joined by British businessman Jonathan Goldstein and Conservative peer Daniel Finkelstein.
(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Christian Radnedge)