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Friday, Jun 6, 2014

Singapore, Sports

Peter Lim agrees deal to restructure Valencia debt

Reuters | Friday, Jun 6, 2014

BARCELONA - New Valencia owner Peter Lim has struck a deal with a Spanish bank to restructure the club's massive debts.

The Singapore businessman won a bidding contest last month via Meriton Holdings to buy 70.4 per cent of shares owned by the club's foundation and the next stage was to find an agreement with over settling the debt.

"Bankia and Meriton have arranged the terms and conditions to restructure Valencia's debt subject to the completion of a framework and legal documentation that must be reached by both parties," Bankia bank said in a statement on its website.

"The operation has been structured so that the bank can recover the finance that it gave to the club and its foundation, that reached 320 million euros ($437.03 million)."

It added that Meriton Holdings offered a plan that was "sensible and credible that permits the viable restructuring of the actual debt and guaranteeing the financial stability of the club in the long term as well as providing a solid platform for its strengthening."

Lim has a fortune worth $2.4 billion (1.4 billion pounds), according to Forbes magazine, and is an avid football and sports fan.

Like many Spanish clubs, Valencia have struggled with high levels of debt and have regularly been forced to sell their top players to stay afloat.

They failed to qualify for next season's Champions League and were knocked out of the Europa League by eventual winners Sevilla in the semi-finals.

Lim will try to return Valencia, who last won La Liga back in 2004, to the top of the Spanish game. Unlike England's Premier League, Spain's La Liga has had fewer foreign buyers and less success.

Malaga owner Abdullah Al-Thani announced on Friday he would step down after four years in charge, citing a lack of cooperation from regional public bodies over his plans to redevelop the club.

Racing Santander were bought by Indian businessman Ahsan Ali Syed in 2011 who promised to make them a "third force" in Spain to challenge Real Madrid and Barcelona.

However, relegation followed and the club's debts mounted.

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