Malaysian tycoon may list EPL club here

Malaysian tycoon may list EPL club here

Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan is in talks with investment bankers in a lead-up to an initial public offering of his English Premier League club Cardiff City.

The listing of the football club is likely in the second half of next year, say industry sources.

The Straits Times understands that Mr Tan, 61, who bought the club three years ago when it was on the brink of insolvency, is mulling over a possible listing venue.

He is looking at two options: to list on home turf on Bursa Malaysia which is largely dominated by big state-owned funds and domestic investors, or pitch the offering to a wider investor base on the Singapore Exchange.

However, sources close to the listing plans - which are at a "very early stage" - said that Bursa Malaysia is likely to be the preferred venue.

If it pans out as scheduled, Cardiff City's stock offering will take place two years after that of a much bigger football club.

In August last year, Manchester United was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in a deal that raised some US$233 million (S$289 million).

"Obviously, one can't compare to Man U which is a global brand, whereas Cardiff is truly just a football club and not a giant enterprise," said an analyst.

Since Mr Tan, Malaysia's 10th richest man, bought a 36 per cent stake in Cardiff City in 2010, the generally low-key owner of a sprawling and diverse business empire has drawn considerable curiosity and flak.

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