Fosun Group completes Wolverhampton Wanderers takeover
Thu 21st Jul 2016 | Clubs Ownership
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club (Wolves) have confirmed a sale and purchase agreement has been signed which sees the transfer of the 100% ownership in Wolves and all its assets from Steve Morgan CBE and his Bridgemere Group to Fosun Group (Fosun) headed by Chairman Guo Guangchang.
The purchase of Wolves by Fosun has been approved and fully ratified by the English Football League (EFL) and its board of directors. The financial terms of the transaction are private and confidential between the parties.
Fosun are one of the largest investment groups in China. They have stakes in various projects worldwide, including: Club Med, Cirque du Solei, Folli Follie and Studio 8 etc. Fosun have attached great importance to UK-based investments and they currently have interests in Thomas Cook, Silver Cross, and Resolution Property.
Steve Morgan CBE steps down after nine years as Wolves’ owner, during which time the Club secured the 2008/09 Sky Bet Championship title and then spent three consecutive seasons in the Premier League for the first time in 30 years. Steve has also worked tirelessly on improving the facilities at both Molineux Stadium and the Club’s training ground which are among the best facilities in the country.
Fosun will currently have a football club board consisting of four people. Mr Jeff Shi, who led the negotiations on behalf of Fosun, will become the Club’s representative, alongside him will be Mr Sky Sun. Local businessmen and Wolves fans John Bowater and John Gough will also continue to serve as non-executive board members.
After being heavily involved in the sale of the Club to new owners, Chief Executive, Jez Moxey, has decided now is the right time to step down after 16 years’ of service to Wolves. However, Jez will remain in his role for up to three months to ensure a smooth transition. Wolves have begun the search for a new Chief Executive.
Also stepping down from the Wolves Board will be Ashley Lewis, Bridgemere Group’s Finance Director, who joined the Board when Steve Morgan resigned as Wolves Chairman in 2015.
Jez will be attending a press conference with Jeff Shi, Wolves\Fosun representative, on Monday, 25th July, 2016.
“We are delighted to have completed the deal to become the new owners of such a famous and historic club as Wolves,” said Jeff Shi.
“We owe a great debt of gratitude to Steve Morgan for taking such good care of the Club and for placing his trust in us to become the new custodians of Wolves. During our conversations Steve’s great passion and vision for the Club and Wolverhampton was very clear and we feel privileged to pick up the baton from him.
“And also to Jez Moxey for his tremendous contribution to Wolves. We are sad to see him leave, but after 16 years of loyal service we understand why he has chosen this moment as the right time to move on and we wish him well.
“We would also like to thank the hugely loyal and passionate Wolves supporters, and all the Club staff, for their patience whilst our discussions were ongoing. We hope they will be pleased with, and supportive of, our exciting plans for Wolves.
“Football is enjoying a huge growth in China and, of course, is England’s national sport. As part of our strategy, it makes perfect sense to buy a great Football Club.
“Our goal is crystal clear: we will do our very best to help take Wolves back to the Premier League as soon as possible and to stay there. We believe the Club and the fans belong at the top of English football and getting there is our first and top priority.
“However, we will continue to develop and enhance Wolves Academy and to create more and more young talent for the first team and to keep it as one of the very best in football. We also understand the importance of the Club’s role within Wolverhampton and the surrounding communities and that is something we are determined to continue.
“We are fully aware that achieving success for Wolves will not be easy. It will take hard work, resources, determination and togetherness. We will work with everyone who supports Wolves to help create a bright future for this great Club.
“We can’t wait to get started on the exciting times ahead and look forward to a long and ultimately successful ownership of Wolves.”
Image: Action Images / John Clifton
Posted by: Kev Howland
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