Indian tycoon to buy Racing Santander

Last Updated: Jan 20, 2011, 23:53 PM IST

Madrid: Indian tycoon Ahsan Ali Syed plans
to buy indebted Primera Liga side Racing Santander for between
30 and 40 million euros (40-54 million dollars), the Spanish
press said on Thursday.

A deal could be wrapped up Monday, said El Diario
Montanes, a regional daily paper in the northern Spanish
region of Cantabria, whose capital is Santander.

"After studying options in different countries in the
past months, we know that Racing fits our strategy because it
is a well-managed club and has great long-term potential," Ali
Syed was quoted as saying in a statement.

"Sport has always been a good investment oppportunity,
especially if it is combined with passion and dreams. Football
is not just an investment for me but also a personal passion.
For that reason it has always been a dream of mine to own a
football club and see my team play," he said.

Ali Syed, founder of Bahrain-based asset manager Western
Gulf Advisory, would invest about 90 million euros in the next
five years and pay 30-40 million euros for the purchase, the
paper said.

The deal would be carried out through Dutch holding
company WGA Sports Holding, B.V., Ali Syed was quoted as
saying.

A spokesman at Racing Santander, which lies 14th in La
Liga, was not immediately available to comment.

If Ali Syed completes the deal, with the expected backing
of the Cantabrian regional government, he would be the second
foreign magnate to own a Spanish club along with Qatar
billionaire Abdullaha bin Nasser Al-Thani who bought Malaga in
May for a reported sum of 25 million euros.

Bureau Report