Reading FC: Thai owners to sell majority shares to Chinese brother and sister

Dai Yongge
Chinese businessman Dai Yongge failed in an attempt to take over Hull City in September

The Thai consortium which owns Reading is on the brink of selling its shares to a Chinese brother and sister, BBC Radio Berkshire reports.

Negotiations have begun with Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li and a deal could be completed "within a fortnight".

Yongge and Xiu Li failed in an attempt to buy Hull City in September.

Current owners Lady Sasima Srivikorn, Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth and Narin Niruttinanon took control of the Championship club in September 2014.

Reading have so far declined to comment. Manager Jaap Stam's side are third in the league having won five successive matches.

Any deal with Yongge and Xiu Li would see the Thais retain ownership of land around the club's Madejski Stadium, currently earmarked for redevelopment, as well as the Millennium Madejski Hotel.

Lady Sasima Srivikorn and Sir John Madejski
Lady Sasima Srivikorn (left) was part of the consortium who took over former Chairman Sir John Madejski's majority stake in Reading in September 2014

But the current owners are looking to sell the stadium, the club and the training ground.

Yongge is a businessman who speaks no English. His planned acquisition of Hull from Assem Allam earlier this year reportedly fell through after he failed to meet the FA's fit and proper person test.

He is understood to favour Reading as an investment because he already flies in and out of London regularly for business meetings.

Lady Sasima intends to sell all her shares in the club while the remaining two shareholders, who currently own 75% between them, would greatly reduce their financial stake.

Who are Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li?

Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li
Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li have made their fortune from underground shopping centres in China
  • Dai Yongge, 48, is executive director and chairman of Chinese real estate company Renhe Commercial Holdings Ltd.
  • Older sister Dai Xiu Li, 54, is also a non-executive director of Renhe and was a member of the 2014 Forbes Billionaires List, which then put her worth at $1.2bn (£700m).
  • Yongge and Xiu Li have made their fortune from running underground shopping centres across China, which also double as air-raid shelters.
  • Xiu Li lives in London and was previously married to an Englishman, teacher Tony Hawken.
  • Renhe are the majority shareholders of Chinese first division club Beijing Renhe.

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