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Apr 2, 2014

U.S. investors 'pursue Valencia bids'

Two U.S.-based investment funds are reportedly among the seven bidders who have made offers to buy La Liga club Valencia.

Valencia's current home is the Mestalla.
Any potential investors would need to deal with Valencia's dual-stadium problem.

• Chinese billionaire Los Che link
• Lowe: Valencia crisis deepens

According to AS those to have submitted an official proposal to take over the heavily-indebted La Liga club are Cerberus Capital Management (USA), Global Emerging Markets (USA), Wanda Corporation (China), Peter Lim (Singapore businessman), Mikhail Bosco (Russian entrepreneur), an Arab investment fund and a seventh bidder which has not been identified.

To reach this stage in the process, all interested parties had to submit a proposal outlining how they would deal with the club's 220 million euro debt to lender Bankia and the 90 million euros owed by the club's foundation. They also had to put forward a plan to resolve the situation that sees Valencia currently own two stadiums -- one of which sits half-finished after the club ran out of money following a reckless property gamble made just as Spain's property bubble burst.

Valencia's foundation released a statement which did not confirm the names of the bidders, but did say it expected a decision to be made on the club's future before the end of April.

“A phase now begins for the evaluation of the offers received, based on a process of selection to find the best sporting, social and economic project, involving the Fundacio VCF, Valencia CF, Bankia and the Instituto Valenciano de Finanzas” the statement said.

“The aim is to find which offer for the shares owned by the Fundacio VCF would guarantee the viability of the club. At the end of this evaluation, the parties will select an investor or investors to be presented for a definitive decision by the board of the Fundacio VCF. The evaluation phase and selection will take a maximum of three weeks.”

This three week “evaluation period” may prove to be optimistic, given the different stakeholders involved have previously found it very difficult to reach agreement on anything. Valencia's club president Amadeo Salvo is reported to favour the bids of either Lim or Wanda, as these would allow him to remain in the position.

Salvo has previously been very critical of Bankia, who appear to hold the greatest power over any decision, as he fears the publicly bailed-out lender is more interested in recovering the money it is owed than securing a sustainable future for the club.

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