West Brom announce sale to Chinese investors
05 August 2016, 12:31
London - West Bromwich Albion have agreed to sell the club to Chinese investment group Yunyi Guokai (Shanghai) Sports Development Limited, the Premier League side announced on Friday.
No financial details have been announced, but former chairman Jeremy Peace was looking for £150m when he put the club on the market last year.
The deal is subject to approval from Britain's Financial Conduct Authority and the Premier League.
"I am proud that I will be the first mainland-Chinese owner of a Premier League club," said Chinese entrepreneur Guochuan Lai, who will become West Brom's new owner, in a statement.
"This historic deal will result in a rapid and significant increase in interest in the club in China, which should lead to attractive commercial opportunities."
In an effort to reassure fans, Guochuan vowed that he had "no intention of changing the club's ethos".
Former owner Peace, who had held an 88% stake in the club, has resigned as chairman and will be replaced by former Blackburn Rovers chairman and chief executive John Williams.
The deal is the latest in a series of inroads made by China in English football.
Manchester City announced a £265m deal with Chinese consortium CMC last December.
Second-tier clubs Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers - both of whom play in the same Midlands region as West Brom - were both taken over by Chinese investors this year.
Birmingham City, another Midlands clubs, are currently in talks with Asian investors seeking to buy the club from Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung, who was jailed for money-laundering in 2014.