Bird & Bird advised publicly-listed Chinese investment company Fosun Group on its acquisition of Wolverhampton Wanderers (known as 'Wolves') FC from Steve Morgan CBE and his Bridgemere Group. The deal sees 100% of the club's shares and assets transferred from previous owner Steve Morgan to Fosun, headed by Chairman Guo Guangchang.
Founded in 1877, Wolves was one of the founder members of the English Football League and the team currently plays in the English Championship.
Based in Shanghai, Fosun is one of the largest investment groups in China. The company has stakes in over 50 projects worldwide including Club Med, Thomas Cook, Cirque de Soleil and Folli Follie.
Corporate partner Matt Bonass led a cross departmental team, including partner Felicity Reeve, Legal Directors Vanessa Young and Vijay Patel, and Associates Will Deller, Jennifer McBride, Kenzo Onumonu, Laura Jordan, Jonathan Goldsworthy, and Kate Hartley.
Matt Bonass commented:
"This is a great example of our corporate transactional team combining with our sports regulatory team to advise on what is a very high profile football acquisition in the UK. Football is enjoying a huge growth in China and a number of Chinese buyers are looking to acquire football assets both in the UK and overseas – the sport continues to be an area of great international interest. We are delighted to assist Fosun on the acquisition and look forward to working with Wolves FC in the future."