Football: Sacramento Kings owner and Centricus join Chelsea bid

Chelsea was put up for sale after the British government placed Russian owner Roman Abramovich under sanctions. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - India-born businessman Vivek Ranadive joined a consortium led by Josh Harris and Martin Broughton that's bidding for Chelsea while Centricus Asset Management partnered with Cheyne Capital's Jonathan Lourie and Talis Capital's Bob Finch to add to the list of rival offers for one of European football's prized assets, according to people familiar with the situation.

Ranadive, a co-owner of National Basketball Association franchise the Sacramento Kings, agreed to back Harris and Broughton's chase for the west London club, one of the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.

A representative for the Kings did not respond to calls for comment. His involvement was reported earlier on Sunday (March 20) by Sky News.

Centricus co-founder Nizar Al-Bassam and chief executive officer Garth Ritchie sent their offer in with Lourie and Finch to the Raine Group, the New York-based investment bank now sifting through all the bids, another person said.

Centricus has been deeply involved in the sport before, notably when it discussed a US$7 billion (S$9.5 billion) financing package with European football's ruling body Uefa to overhaul the Champions League.

The latest additions to the list of potential buyers comes as the Daily Mail reported that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich might turn down any bid from a country - including the US and Britain - that has sanctioned Russian oligarchs, a potential wrinkle to a process that was supposed to go through quickly.

Abramovich put the English Premier League club up for sale after the British government placed him under sanctions for his ties to President Vladimir Putin.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.