Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim gets rousing welcome in Valencia

Published on Oct 28, 2014
The Straits Times

By Wang Meng Meng

 
Last Saturday, billionaire investor Peter Lim received an extraordinary welcome from the fans of Spanish football club Valencia.

A YouTube video uploaded by the club shows the billionaire arriving at the Mestalla Stadium last Saturday night for the home game against Elche, which Valencia won 3-1.



Lim was in the Spanish port city to finalise his ownership of the club.

Earlier that day, it was confirmed that he had reached an agreement with Bankia - the Spanish bank that held most of the club's €200 million (S$323 million) debt - on the restructuring of the club's finances. That has paved the way for him to buy a 70 per cent stake in Valencia.

Stepping out of a luxury sedan, Lim was giving a warm handshake and hug by Valencia president Amadeo Salvo. Cameras zoomed in on the masses of fans, who chanted the Singaporean's name feverishly, as if they were welcoming a new star striker.

Accompanied by his wife, former actress Cherie, Lim posed for photographs and was later escorted to a balcony in the stadium, where he and Salvo waved at the delighted fans below.

The 61-year-old, estimated to be worth US$2.05 billion (S$2.6 billion) by Forbes Singapore, has bought Valencia for €420 million in total, with €200 million to clear the club's debts and £170 million to complete construction of a new stadium.

He has also splashed €45 million on two Benfica players - striker Rodrigo Moreno, 22, and midfielder Andre Gomes, 20.

Without a league title in 10 years and a trophy since the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup in 2008, Valencia were crippled by debt until Lim started buyout talks a year ago.

Rejuvenated by the hope offered by the Singaporean, Valenncia have surged up to fourth in the 20-team La Liga on 20 points, two points behind leaders Barcelona.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Billionaire enters into partnership with five former players to own Salford City FC

Published: 4:02 AM, September 23,

LONDON — Billionaire Peter Lim has entered into a partnership with five former Manchester United players and taken a 50 per cent share in Salford City FC, which play in the eighth tier of the English league system.

This comes as Mr Lim, who is estimated by Forbes magazine to be worth around £1.5 billion (S$3.11 billion), stands poised to complete his purchase of a 50 per cent stake in Spain’s Valencia. The Singaporean was also linked with a move to buy Liverpool in 2010.

Former Manchester United players Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt have equal shares in the other 50 per cent of Salford City, which are top of their division. They took a stake this year with the goal of developing local talent and ultimately taking the club into the Football League.

In a statement, the five said Mr Lim’s experience would be invaluable as they continue with their unlikely quest to turn Salford, located on the outskirts of Manchester, into a football force. “When we set out upon this journey, we always knew that, at some point, we wanted external partners involved, people who would share our vision for Salford City. Peter’s love of sport, above all football, is well documented,” the statement said.

“He has an incredible track record in business as well as youth and community engagement, especially at grassroots level. Peter’s experience and knowledge can help take the club to where we believe they can be.”

The move is awaiting approval by the English Football Association, which should be a formality.

A spokesperson for Mr Lim told media outlets in the United Kingdom: “Peter met the lads a few months ago and they explained their plans and rationale for Salford City, the academy and the investment in grassroots football. What the lads want to accomplish resonated strongly with Peter, who shares (with them) a common belief in youth development through sports. Peter has a high regard for footballers’ talents and dedication to their sport.

“He is convinced that the legends’ sporting training has imbued them with values such as humility, discipline and the tenacity to succeed. He hopes these values can be cultivated in the young footballers who will come through Salford City’s programme.

“The management of the club on a day-to-day basis, as announced in March, will remain the same. This arrangement is important to all concerned.”

Salford’s chairperson Karen Baird said: “It’s been a great start to the season, we are very excited about the future for the club and what can be achieved.

“The most important aspect for us is that we continue to bond with our community and city, and we have assurances this will happen.”

Mr Lim is set to take over Valencia in the coming months and wipe the club’s estimated debt of €200 million (S$326 million), following protracted negotiations with Spanish bank Bankia, Valencia’s main creditor, that began in the middle of May. AGENCIES

Friday, August 8, 2014

M'sian billionaire Vincent Tan sells TMC shares to S'pore tycoon Peter Lim

Published: Friday August 8, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
The Star Online
by daniel khoo
    

PETALING JAYA: Singapore billionaire Peter Lim Eng Hock has acquired an additional 26.6% in TMC Life Sciences Bhd from Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun for 48 sen per share, raising his stake in the company to 59.2% and triggering a general offer for the rest of the shares he does not already own in the process.

Lim, however, intends to maintain the healthcare provider’s listing status on Bursa Malaysia.
Shares in TMC were last traded at 46.5 sen yesterday.

TMC said in an announcement that its board would hold an emergency meeting to deliberate on the offer and make an announcement in due course.

The takeover offer was effected after Tan, TMC’s second-biggest shareholder, hived off his stakes held through Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) (11.6%) and Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) (15%) in TMC for RM102.6mil to Lim via Sasteria (M) Pte Ltd yesterday.

A block of 160.68 million shares in TMC crossed in an off-market trade yesterday at 48 sen per share in the last minutes of trading just before the market closed for the day.

Lim had 32.6% in TMC prior to yesterday’s transaction.

Under Bursa Malaysia’s listing requirements, Lim will have to extend his takeover offer to all minority shareholders in the company at 48 sen a share and eight sen per warrant.

It has been speculated that the acquisition could be a prelude to Lim eventually parking all his healthcare services assets in Malaysia under one vehicle.

It is also notable that this transaction with TMC by Lim is reminiscent of what had happened to the-then Singapore-listed Thomson Medical Centre Ltd, which was privatised by him in 2010 in a similar transaction.

Lim had then also triggered a mandatory conditional offer for Thomson Medical after its largest shareholder and founder, Dr Cheng Wei Chen, sold his entire effective 39.34% stake at S$1.75 (RM4.48) a share in a direct business transaction with Lim.

Lim is also said to be injecting his planned 200-bed hospital at Iskandar Malaysia’s medical hub into TMC eventually.

Lim’s keen interest in TMC was first traced back four years ago in 2010 when he emerged with a 29.6% stake after acquiring a stake from TMC’s founder Datuk Dr Colin Lee Soon Soo in direct business trades then.

He later further raised his stake in the company and by the middle of 2011, held 32.6% in TMC, a stake which he had held on to until before yesterday.

Meanwhile, BCorp said it would realise an estimated total gain of RM21.64mil from these disposals while BLand, which is also a subsidiary of BCorp, said it would net total gains of RM3.62mil from this share sale to Lim.

“Currently, the total carrying value of the sale shares is about RM41.99mil or 45 sen per sale share, which has been purchased since January 2008. The disposals have enabled the BCorp Group to realise its investment in TMC,” BCorp said in its announcement.

Both BCorp and BLand said they would utilise the proceeds for working capital and/or the repayment of borrowings for the company.

Post-transaction, Tan will still have a residual direct interest of 0.40% and a deemed interest of 1.37% in TMC other than through the BCorp Group.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Peter Lim donates S$3m to NTU for peace studies professorship

June 10, 2014

SINGAPORE — Fresh off his purchase of Spanish football club Valencia just weeks ago, Mr Peter Lim, a Singaporean billionaire, has donated S$3 million to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) for a new professorship in peace studies.

SINGAPORE — Fresh off his purchase of Spanish football club Valencia just weeks ago, Mr Peter Lim, a Singaporean billionaire, has donated S$3 million to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) for a new professorship in peace studies.

The university announced yesterday that the Peter Lim Professorship in Peace Studies will be based at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

NTU said the donation will help fund a top global expert who can lead the development of the school’s peace studies curriculum and research strategies as part of its new Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies (SRP) programme, launched on the same day. The Government will match the gift dollar-for-dollar, bringing the endowment to S$6 million in total.

Mr Lim was not present at the cheque presentation ceremony, which was witnessed by President Tony Tan, who is also the chancellor of the university.

An NTU statement quoted Mr Lim as saying that he hoped the endowment will bring Singapore peace and harmony. “We have enjoyed decades of peace because of the harmonious relations among Singapore’s different communities. But the world’s many conflicts remind us that we cannot take this peace for granted. I hope that my donation can bring together distinguished scholars and thought leaders to study how we can be one step closer to protecting and promoting the harmony in our country,” the businessman said. ~CHANNEL NEWSASIA