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Volume 6 No. 197


Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan is exploring an initial public offering of League Championship side Cardiff City for as early as this year "in a deal that would follow the team's recent promotion to the Premier League," according to Yantoultra Ngui of REUTERS. The process is in its early stages, "with details on the timing, size and listing venue subject to change." Prospects for the Welsh team "are unclear." Former Nomura and UBS investment banker Philippe Espinasse said, "There's a pretty mixed history of sport clubs with their IPOs. It's more an emotional investment than a rational one." One person said that the initial plan "is to list the club on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange." Another person said that "the deal may be completed as early as this year." The sources "declined to be identified as the information was not public" (REUTERS, 5/24). The BBC reported Tan has promised to spend £25M ($37M) "on players this summer as Cardiff prepares for the Premier League." Tan, who was unavailable for comment, had been quoted in the Malaysian press as saying he would consider offers for the Welsh club, but later said he would "like to be here for the long haul" (BBC, 5/24). WALES ONLINE's Peter Law wrote Premier League football is expected to quadruple Cardiff City's revenue to about £80M ($120M) next season, "thanks largely to the bumper television broadcast rights deal." Cardiff City supporter and int'l accountancy firm Mazars Dir Keith Morgan said an IPO would be one way of Tan getting a "big return" on the money he has loaned the club, which he believes to be about £60M-£70M ($90M-$105M) (WALES ONLINE, 5/24).

Australian Football League side Collingwood President Eddie McGuire said that "Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs have 'stuffed' their list management so badly that strong consideration should be given to giving them an enlarged salary cap," according to Jon Pierik of THE AGE. Melbourne's "plight on and off the field has become a major concern," with uncertainty over coach Mark Neeld's future, suggestions of a A$3M ($2.9M) debt and "the prospect of having senior players poached at the end of the season." AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou has left the door ajar for the AFL Commission to use its discretion to award Melbourne a priority pick "should they continue to sink," but McGuire said that is not the way to go. McGuire said, "I think at the moment you have two sides that have been cut adrift too far and because they have stuffed it up along the way, let's just not completely absolve them of their sins. But because of this perfect storm, these two clubs are now in big trouble unless they get a bit of help along the way.'' McGuire said that "the Bulldogs and Melbourne would be better off being handed" an extra A$2M apiece to spend on players (THE AGE, 5/28). ... In Melbourne, Jon Ralph wrote Melbourne could be faced with an A$5M black hole over the next two years, "given poor crowd projections, payouts to key staff and revenue shortfalls." New Melbourne CEO Peter Jackson has already forecast a "huge loss this season and said little would change next year if the revenue base did not grow." Melbourne has just wiped out a A$5M debt, but faces "being plunged deep back into the red, given its horrific season" (HERALD SUN, 5/29).

A trade union representative said that at least 23 workers "were hurt in Cambodia on Monday when police using stun batons moved in to end a protest over pay at a factory that makes clothing for Nike," according to REUTERS. Police with riot gear "were deployed to move about 3,000 mostly female workers who had blocked a road outside their factory, owned by Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing." According to the Int'l Monetary Fund, "clothing accounted for 75% of Cambodia's total exports" of $5.22B in '11. This month, "two workers were killed at a factory making running shoes for Asics when part of a warehouse fell in on them." Free Trade Union President Sun Vanny said that the workers making the Nike clothing want the U.S. sportswear firm, "which employs more than 5,000 people at the plant," to give them $14 a month to help pay for transport, rent and healthcare costs on top of their $74 minimum wage (REUTERS, 5/27).

Five years ago, mining magnate Nathan Tinkler "burst onto the Australian racing scene, spending millions on breeding and racing stock to herald the arrival of his goliath Patinack Farm racing and breeding operation," according to Michael Sharkie of THE AGE. This week, "the majority of Tinkler's bloodstock interests will be sold at the Magic Millions complex on the Gold Coast." A leading bloodstock agent said, "Every broodmare buyer in the country is here, and with some of [the horses] like Nechita, there's no telling what they could go for. He won't get it all back obviously, but he'll get a bit back" (THE AGE, 5/29).