Mainland property tycoon Hui Ka-yan has taken control of Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Football Club after pumping 400 million yuan (US$64.42 million) cash into the Chinese Super League mainstay.
Hui, chairman of Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd. (03333.HK), boosted his stake to 60 percent, leaving joint-venture partner Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. with 40 percent from 50 percent previously, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal.
Also, Hui brought in 3,000 players from the company’s cadet school.
The football club is worth 12 billion yuan after the Hui injection, with one-sixth of its value coming from the players alone, according to sources cited by Tencent Sports.
The valuation compares with US$2.97 billion for US-listed Manchester United and US$245 million for Real Madrid.
Hui bought Evergrande Taobao FC for 100 million yuan in 2010 and sold half of the stake to Alibaba last year for 1.2 billion yuan. Evergrande made a 719 million yuan profit on the deal.
The transaction drove up the club’s valuation 23-fold.
Last year, the club posted 215 million yuan of advertising revenue.
Analysts said Evergrande may spin off the club, together with other non-property businesses such as dairy, mineral water and food production, for a separate listing.
Translation by Vey Wong
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