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SBD Global/January 17, 2014/Franchises

La Liga Valencia Lender Bankia Receives Takeover Offers, Begins Evaluation Process

La Liga side Valencia's lender, Spanish bank Bankia, confirmed that it received "several offers" regarding the takeover of Valencia, according to FOOTBALL ESPANA. The deadline for bids "was on Wednesday." The bank revealed that a "number of offers have been tabled, but stress that confidentially is 'imperative.'" Singapore businessman Peter Lim is expected to be "named the new owner" of the club after "promising last year to pay off their debts and create a competitive team." Bankia has not "confirmed when they will announce the new owners" (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 1/16).

THREE OFFERS PRESENTED: In Madrid, De Barrón & Ros reported Bankia "received three offers to sell the club." One, "already known, was presented by Lim, and two others came from foreign investors." Bankia "has opened a three-phase, 15-day period to determine the winning offer." During the first phase, accounting firm KPMG will "analyze the offers to confirm that they meet the required conditions." Both Bankia and the bidders "will be able to ask questions to clarify terms during the second phase." The third phase will consist of "the investors putting their money on the table." Lim's offer "is preferred by Valencia President Amadeo Salvo." Valencia's debt has reached €354M ($482.4M) (EL PAIS, 1/15).

SALE MUST BE RIGHT FOR CLUB: Valencia majority shareholder VCF Foundation President Aurelio Martinez said that he would "try to veto any sale of the club that saw its bankers get their money but left the team without a viable plan for the future," according to Dermot Corrigan of ESPN. Valencia is "up for sale," with Bankia now "analysing offers that arrived before Wednesday’s deadline for potential buyers to come forward." Martinez: "The foundation understands that its duty to Valencianismo is to watch the process, to see that the offer includes sporting as well as financial parts, that it is not just about returning the money Bankia is owed but will consider other areas for the future including the foundation, the academy, investments in sporting side, the completion of the stadium." Martinez added that he was "impressed by Lim’s plans, but wanted to consider other, potentially better, offers before any decision was made." Martinez said, "[Lim] seems to me sensible and appreciated, not so much for his offer but because of his CV -- he is not an unknown person in the world of football. All who know him speak well of him. He has involvements in foundations and sponsorships of significant value, he has invested in motor-racing. ... We must see the other offers -- maybe there are better ones, I don’t know. I am convinced that there will be many surprises" (ESPN, 1/16).
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