Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian businessman ‘to buy Polish giants’




Cambodian businessman ‘to buy Polish giants’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Wisla’s home is a 34,000-seat stadium on Krakow’s Reymonta Street. AFP

Cambodian businessman ‘to buy Polish giants’

A CAMBODIAN businessman is set to become the saviour of financially beleaguered Polish football giants Wisla Krakow after recent reports that a Cambodian-British consortium is closing in on a takeover of the club.

The syndicate is reportedly led by Ly Vanna, a previously unknown Cambodian businessman.

A conditional agreement with a Luxembourg-British syndicate of investment funds was signed on Tuesday and will be finalised in the coming days, said Sport Company Wisla Krakow, Reuters reported.

“As far as I am concerned, an agreement was signed today with an investment fund, behind which are Cambodian investors,” president of the city of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski told Reuters.

“The fund is specialised in restructuring and then selling.”

A club spokeswoman declined to comment to Reuters on Wisla’s new owners.

The details of the contract are strictly confidential, news site PolandIN reported. The contract will become effective over the next few days.

Founded in 1906, Wisla are one of the most successful sides in Polish football, having won the Polish top-flight Ekstraklasa 14 times, most recently in 2011.

This was the last of eight championships won since 1991 in an incredibly successful modern period.

They reached the quarterfinals of the European Cup in 1979 and share Poland’s greatest rivalry with Legia Warsaw.

However, the club has suffered financial difficulties recently and are said to owe short-term debts of around 40 million Polish zlotys, around $10.7 million.

The new owners have pledged to pay $3.2 million by next Friday, with the rest of the short-term debt to then be dealt with, PolandIN reported. A further $34.8 million has been promised to be invested over the next 12 months to save the club.

Asian businessmen have become involved in European football over the past few years, most famously the Thai owners of Leicester City. A Chinese investment company is the backer of Leicester’s Premier League rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Cambodian tycoon Vanna is said to own shares in Czech giants Slavia Praga and Portuguese top-flight outfit Vitoria Guimaraes, according to football agent Adam Pietrowski, likely Wisła’s new sports director.

He also has shares in MLS side New York City and Japan’s Yokohama FC, and others in Argentina and Brazil, PolandIN reported.

Aside from this, little is known about the investors.

Vanna reportedly heads the Alelega fund, which has an office in Luxembourg, and is said to become the majority shareholder with a 60 per cent stake, PolandIN said.

British company Noble Capital Partners, which specialises in the trade of company assets, is to control the remaining 40 per cent.

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,