Aug. 5, 2010 (Chinavestor) China Investment Corp., the nation's $300 billion sovereign wealth, is lining up the financing necessary to purchase the Liverpool Football Club of the English Premier League. The team's owners confirmed the club was for sale in April. The team is saddled with a debt load of $558 million and that is exactly the sum China Investment has raised in the past two weeks through selling shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), according to the New York Times.
The owners, which purchased the club for $268 million in 2007, were originally hoping to get $770 million for selling the team. Founded in 1892, Liverpool has one of the more storied histories of any European football club. Known for its red jerseys, the club has won 18 league titles, tied for the most in league history with rival Manchester United. Liverpool has five European Cups compared to three for Man U.
Sources have confirmed that China Investment has in fact contacted Liverpool about a possible sale, but the British media is reporting that there are other interested suitors, including the Rhone Group and former Syrian football star Yahya Kirdi. Barclays (NYSE:BCS) is managing the sale for Liverpool.
It is doubtful China Investment would take an active role in managing the team as the fund is known to be primarily a passive investor and that would be a relief to fans of the club that think the current owners debt accumulation has impacted the team's performance on the pitch.