SINGAPORE: Singapore billionaire Peter Lim has been confirmed as the new owner of La Liga club Valencia. After about ten months of negotiations, Bankia, the club’s main creditor, has agreed to sell 70 per cent of club shares to Meriton Holdings, Mr Lim’s private investment company.

Both parties are expected to sign off on the best way to clear Valencia CF’s €320 million debt. Valencia CF is in fourth position in the La Liga table, behind FC Barcelona, Sevilla and Real Madrid.

“It’s official ladies and gentleman, Peter Lim is the new owner of Valencia CF,” according to a post in on the club’s blog.

Spanish bank Bankia said in a statement on Friday: “Bankia, Valencia CF and Meriton today signed contracts to refinance the debt that the Club owes to the bank, and to partially finance the acquisition of 70.06 per cent stake of Valencia CF in the hands of Fundación Valencia CF (Foundation Valencia CF).”

Lim’s Meriton Holdings on Friday announced it signed the Sales and Purchase Agreement with Foundation Valencia CF (FVCF). All the key stakeholders are on board with Meriton’s plan now, and the acquisition process enters “the final phase” of fulfilling the conditions precedent and concluding the necessary legal agreements and approvals from authorities, according to the joint press release issued by both parties.

Meriton Director Chan Lay Hoon said: “We are extremely proud to be given the opportunity to take control of one of the biggest and most-supported clubs in Europe. It has been a very long journey, longer than we would have liked.”

“We especially want to thank the Valencia CF fans for their unwavering support and patience. It was most heartening to have them behind us all the way despite the long negotiation process. We look forward to many exciting years of European football with our fans.”

Commenting on the latest developments, FVCF President Aurelio Martinez said: “This is a momentous day for the Foundation and the football club. Peter has injected a new lease of life into Valencia CF and we know he is raring to do more. We share the club’s and the fans’ excitement about the future of Valencia CF.”

The Singapore businessman will also be in attendance for Valencia’s home game against Elche at the Mestalla Stadium on Saturday night Oct 25. He will be hoping to see his new team get back on track in the La Liga after their shock 3-0 defeat to Deportivo La Coruna last weekend.

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