Southampton FC on Tuesday confirmed that Sport Republic, which is backed by Serbian billionaire Dragan Solak, has completed the acquisition of a controlling stake in the Premier League club.
Sport Republic, which is an investment firm in the sports and entertainment industry, has purchased the shareholding of the club held by a Chinese businessman, Gao Jisheng and will work in partnership with Katharina Liebherr who retains her minority shareholding.
Martin Semmens, CEO of Southampton Football Club in a statement said: "Over the last two years, together with the shareholders of our club, we have searched for the right partner to take the club forward. Today we have found the perfect solution for our club. Sport Republic are experienced investors, but also experienced within the world of elite professional sports. That combination is very hard to find, and we are thrilled to have reached an agreement that secures our short and long-term future." "We are grateful for the support of Mr Gao and Katharina that allowed us to take our time, turn away the wrong options and ultimately find the right partner for the future of this great club, its fans, staff and the people of Southampton," he added.
Commenting on the agreement, the Lead Investor of Sport Republic, Dragan Solak, said: "My partners and I have experience in long-term investments in the sports and entertainment industry and Sport Republic has been founded to combine this expertise and deliver something unique to the market. Southampton has so many of the qualities we have been looking for in a major sports organisation. It has a great management team, excellent talent development, talented teams playing attractive football and a dedicated fan base. We are delighted to be able to complete this acquisition as a first step towards execution of our investment strategy. Southampton will be a cornerstone of the organisation we plan to build." Southampton are currently 14th in the Premier League table with 21 points from 19 games. Their next match is a trip to second-tier Swansea City in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
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