Spain’s Bankia (BKIA) is studying an offer by Singapore billionaire Peter Lim to acquire Valencia soccer club under which it would pay off long-standing debt owed to the bank, team president Amadeo Salvo said.
Bankia wants between four and six weeks to wait for competing offers, Salvo told a news conference in Valencia. Lim set a deadline of Jan. 15 to complete the transaction, Salvo added. Lim couldn’t immediately be reached for comment and a Bankia official declined to comment.
Valencia, a two-time Champions League finalist, has struggled with its finances amid a six-year real-estate slump that has roiled its plans to sell its Mestalla stadium and complete a new arena. In 2010 and 2011, it traded Spanish national-team players David Villa, Juan Mata and David Silva to raise cash.
The team is 11th in Spain’s La Liga after losing 3-2 at home to Real Madrid last night.
On Nov. 26, Bankia rejected a plan by the club to repay debt of as much as 250 million euros ($342 million) over 18 years, Salvo said. The bank was bailed out last year under a European rescue for Spain’s banking system.
“Bankia has to enter into a series of processes which are almost like a public institution” would need to, before accepting Lim’s offer, Salvo said.
Lim became a billionaire through holdings in palm oil producers and a chain of Manchester United cafes in Asia. In 2010, he offered 320 million pounds ($523 million) to buy Liverpool before the Premier League team was acquired by Boston Red Sox owner John W. Henry.
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