HK com­pany to buy soc­cer’sHull City


A Hong Kong-based pro­fes­sional ser­vicescom­pany said it has agreed to buy English Premier League soc­cer team Hull City for 130 mil­lion pounds ($159.5 mil­lion).

GreaterChina Pro­fes­sional Ser­vices Ltd’s agree­ment is the lat­est foray into Euro­pean soc­cer by China-fo­cused com­pa­nies.

GreaterChina said in a state­ment filed with the Hong Kong Stock Ex­change that the agree­ment is not legally bind­ing and hasn’t been con­cluded. At least one other bid­der is still in­ter­ested in the club, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion. Hull City saw a pre­vi­ous ap­proach from a sep­a­rate Chi­nese bid­der col­lapse ear­lier this year.

Hull didn’t re­ply to a re­quest for com­ment.

GreaterChina, which de­scribes its main busi­nesses as as­set ap­praisal and ad­vi­sory work, ad­ver­tis­ing and fi­nan­cial ser­vices, said the pro­posed takeover would lead to busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in China. GreaterChina plans to dis­trib­ute and mar­ket Hull City prod­ucts in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to its state­ment.

De­vel­op­ing a fol­low­ing in China would be a big leap for Hull, which is lo­cated in York­shire in north­ern Eng­land. The team re­turned to the Premier League this sea­son from the se­cond-tier English league, hav­ing reached the top flight for the first time in its his­tory in 2008.

Hull is in 16th place, two places and one point above the rel­e­ga­tion zone, and it at­tracts crowds of around 21,000 per match.

Like most teams of its size, Hull’s fi­nan­cial for­tunes are deter­mined by its par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Premier League and ac­cess to the most lu­cra­tive do­mes­tic tele­vi­sion con­tract in soc­cer. This year, the last-placed team will get about 100 mil­lion pounds.


Fans of Hull City hold up ban­ners at a match in Wem­b­ley Sta­dium.

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