By Julie Zhu
HONG KONG (Reuters) – China Everbright Ltd, part of the state-owned China Everbright Group, is not in talks to buy a stake in British soccer team Liverpool FC, Chief Executive Chen Shuang said on Wednesday.
Chen said that, after media reports of Everbright’s interest in the English Premier League club, he called several executives at different units of Everbright that might be involved in outbound mergers and acquisitions and found no one was working on any such deal.
“I really don’t know where the media sources come from. I called everyone who might be involved and found no one was aware of this deal,” he said at a news briefing.
The Financial Times reported Liverpool’s owners had hired an investment bank to advise on a possible sale to a consortium that included Everbright.
Sports assets are not the investment focus of the Chinese conglomerate and Everbright plans to invest instead in the culture and entertainment industry, including movie theaters, in the second half of this year, Chen said.
The U.S. owners of Liverpool have said the club is not for sale.
(Reporting by Julie Zhu; Writing by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Christopher Cushing)