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Singapore billionaire offers to bail out cash-strapped Valencia

December 23, 2013 -- Updated 2240 GMT (0640 HKT)
Peter Lim has offered to buy La Liga side Valencia, according to the club's president Amadeo Salvo.
Peter Lim has offered to buy La Liga side Valencia, according to the club's president Amadeo Salvo.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Singapore billionaire Peter Lim offers to buy Valencia, says club president
  • The La Liga club has been crippled by debts following Spain's financial crisis
  • Lim worth more than $2 billion according to Forbes.com

(CNN) -- Singapore businessman Peter Lim has offered to purchase debt-ridden La Liga side Valencia, according to the club's president, Amadeo Salvo.

Speaking at a specially convened press conference before Sunday's match with Real Madrid, Salvo said: "Mr Lim has made an official offer to Bankia to buy the club. It is one of the two or three biggest transactions ever in the world of football."

The La Liga club revealed in August that its debts to Bankia, Spain's fourth largest bank, stood at $376 million.

Salvo said Mr Lim has proposed that the purchase be completed by the middle of next month to allow the club time to spend money on players before the transfer window closes on January 31.

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The original plan was to close the deal in a week, Salvo suggested, but Bankia has requested a time frame of four to six weeks to consider more offers.

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Bankia, who announced earlier this month that they were seeking buyers for the club, declined to comment when contacted by CNN. Mr Lim could not be contacted at time of publication.

Lim, who made an unsuccessful bid to buy English Premier League club Liverpool in 2010, is worth more than $2 billion, according to Forbes.com.

Exactly a decade ago, Valencia were at the halfway point of a season which saw them win both the La Liga title and the UEFA Cup.

But the club has been mired in financial difficulties following Spain's economic crisis and currently lie 11th in La Liga with interim manager Nico Estevez in charge following the sacking of Miroslav Djukic earlier this month.

Construction on the new 75,000-seat Mestalla Stadium was halted in 2009 and a host of star players, including David Villa, David Silva and Juan Mata, have been sold in recent seasons to help service huge debts.

If 60-year-old Lim's bid is successful then he will join a growing list of foreign investors in La Liga and across other European leagues.

Fellow La Liga outfit Malaga were bought for a reported $80 million by Qatar's Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani in 2010 with the Qatar Investment Authority buying a 70% share of Ligue 1's Paris St Germain in 2011.

In October this year, Indonesian billionaire Erick Thohir acquired a 70% stake in Italian giants Inter Milan.

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