Malaysian tycoon Vincent Tan plans IPO of football club Cardiff City

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan is exploring an IPO of UK football team Cardiff City as early as this year, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, in a deal that would follow the team's recent promotion to the Premier League.

Cardiff City would be the second Premier League team to float shares in the past year, after Manchester United listed on the New York Stock Exchange, raising US$233.2 million (S$294.2 million) in the largest sports team IPO ever.

The process is in its early stages, the people said, with details on the timing, size and listing venue subject to change.

Mr Tan, who owns 36.1 per cent of the club and is the former chairman of conglomerate Berjaya Group, has engaged at least one investment bank to lead the process, according to the people.

The initial plan is to list the club on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, one of the people said.

The deal is expected to be completed as early as this year, another person said.

Mr Tan was unavailable for comment.

He is Malaysia's tenth richest person with a net worth of US$1.3 billion, according to Forbes.

Cardiff City were promoted to the English Premier League last month after a 51-year absence.

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