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Premier League: Southampton sell 80 percent stake for £210m to Chinese businessman Gao Jisheng

London: Chinese businessman Jisheng Gao has completed a takeover of Southampton, club owner Katharina Liebherr said in a letter to fans on Monday.

"Following extensive and fruitful work, we are entering into a partnership with the Gao family and I am excited about what we will achieve together," Liebherr said.

Gao Jisheng, chairman and founder of Lander Sports. Reuters

Gao Jisheng, chairman and founder of Lander Sports. Reuters

Although no details of the deal were released, local media reported that Gao had purchased an 80 per cent stake for around 210 million pounds ($272.69 million) and that Liebherr would retain a 20 percent share.

Liebherr said she had built up a close relationship with Gao's daughter Nelly Gao, who local media reported will join the Southampton board.

Gao, 64, is the founder, chairman and CEO of Lander Sports Development Co Ltd.

The Premier League approved the takeover by Gao's company in June, and the deal takes to 28 the number of European clubs now under Chinese ownership.

Seven of those are British: West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Aston Villa, Wolves, Reading and Northampton are the others, with Manchester City also 13 per cent owned by Chinese.

However, the Chinese government has expressed disapproval at what it calls "irrational" overseas purchases and has tightened restrictions on capital leaving China.

Mainland banks were instructed not to let property developer Dalian Wanda – which owns a stake in Atletico Madrid – refinance or inject assets into some of its offshore subsidiaries.

Updated Date: Aug 15, 2017 10:31 AM

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