Shares in Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club could become available on the London Stock Exchange through an initial public offer (IPO).
Fosun International, who purchased the club in 2016 from Steve Morgan for £40million, is attempting to sell a stake in the Premier League outfit as it gauges investor appetite for an eventual public listing. Despite looking for potential investors for several months, nobody has stepped forward to invest.
Speaking recently, Executive Chairman Jeff Shi insists Wolves’ finances have never been stronger but that further investment and partnerships were needed to take the club further. He has also indicated that putting the feelers out has been “more to test the market, to see the value” of the club.
“Financially, in Wolves, we have never been so strong,” said Shi. “I can tell you historically our financial strength is the best.
“At least, during my tenure here, I think – I have gone through the Championship period and the first season in the Premier League, so I know clearly about how strong our financial status is now.
“Regarding the funding it is not only about the funding itself, I think it is about that we need more commercial support, and also a big fanbase to help the club go into a high level in future. Because eventually, the competition in the league is not only about the first team it is also about everywhere else.
“If you compare ourselves to maybe some big teams in the league, some strengths they have now is they have a much bigger fanbase and also they have much more commercial revenue than us. So regarding the financial fair play, it’s really not so easy to catch up with them in a short time.
“You can build a strong first team very quickly, maybe in two or three years, before that part it is not so easy.
“You need someone who knows how to help the club and in some markets; in Europe, in Asia, some big sponsor to us and someone who can help us market the club – that part we need more friends to help us.
“Only when we have strong support from all the friends around the world, and also when they’re really buying our strategy, our direction and they really see the growth potential of the club – and more others, I think they will come.”
It is believed that Fosun International have been trying to sell a stake of around 20 per cent in Wolves. The current value of the club stands at around £350million.
“We are not just trying to sell the shares to anybody, we are very picky. We are doing it slowly,” Shi explained.
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