Football: China's Rastar Group to acquire stake in Spanish club Espanyol

(REUTERS) - China's Rastar Group said on Monday its Hong Kong unit will buy up to a 56 per cent stake in Spanish football club Espanyol, as mainland companies continue their investment in European clubs.

Principally engaged in model car and related raw materials business, the company said it will pay 78 euros (S$120.30) for each share of the La Liga club for a 45.1 to 56 per cent stake in a deal valued between 143 million and 178 million euros.

The company, based in China's southern Guangdong province, said it will pay in cash for the deal.

"The company hopes that the deal will help it expand its interactive entertainment business in the sports sector," Rastar said in a Chinese filing on the Shenzhen stock exchange.

After acquiring the stake, Rastar said it will increase its investment in Barcelona-based Espanyol, who are currently 10th in the La Liga standings, by up to 45 million euros.

Last month, CEFC China Energy Company bought a majority stake in Slavia Prague, one of the Czech Republic's oldest football clubs.

Earlier this year, Chinese property conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co bought 20 per cent of Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid for 45 million euros.

Rastar's announcement came after China's markets closed. Trading in its shares, which has been suspended since Oct 22, will resume on Tuesday.