The transfer of Panathinaikos soccer club to the Pan Asia fund, led by Thai business man Pairoj Piempongsant, has officially started with club owner Yiannis Alafouzos announcing on Tuesday the signing of the agreement for the first stage of the transaction concerning the first half of his stake.
In a statement the majority stakeholder of the Greens announced that on Saturday the fund represented by the businessman – who also brokered the transfer of Manchester City – signed the deal for the first stage of the transaction, in the context of the ongoing share capital increase.
The statement actually leaves the door open to more entrants in the club’s share capital should they wish to be part of the future ownership. There is a notable interest by the owner of the Panathinaikos basketball club, Dimitris Giannakopoulos through his Athens Alive international project for the development of the Olympic Sports Center.
The statement reads as follows: “Following many months of negotiations, an agreement was signed on Saturday, October 6, between Mr Ioannis Alafouzos and the PAN ASIA INVESTMENTS LTD company of Thai entrepreneur Pairoj Piempongsant.
“Mr Ioannis Alafouzos has agreed to the transfer of half of the shares he owned at Panathinaikos soccer club, thereby completing the first phase of his intention for the entry of new entrepreneurs in the club.
“Mr Ioannis Alafouzos was and remains consistent to the pledge he has given from the outset, to deliver Panathinaikos free from the debts which it had painfully shouldered when he undertook it.
“With a new momentum and group efforts that will continue, Panathinaikos is becoming stronger so as to face the challenges ahead of it,” says the statement by Alafouzos.
Reports say that the Pan Asia fund will pay the first amount of 2.5 million euros by October 15, in the form of down payment. Piempongsant is expected to appoint three board members and then see to it that the club brings its debts down to zero by next summer.
The Professional Sports Commission will first need to issue a clearance for the 63-year-old Thai businessman to own shares in a Greek club, given the fact he is not a European Union citizen, before Piempongsant can formally acquire a stake.