Billionaire Lim’s Offer for Valencia Team Studied by Bankia

Spain’s Bankia 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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