MX23RW : Tuesday, August 21 17:18:58

Dave Whelan agrees deal in principle to sell Wigan Athletic to Hong Kong company

Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan agrees in principle to sell his League One club to the Hong Kong-based International Entertainment Corporation.

Dave Whelan has agreed in principle to sell his Wigan Athletic to a Hong Kong-based company whose principal business is running a hotel and casino in the Philippines.

The company, International Entertainment Corporation, announced the agreement of a "term sheet" with the Whelan family to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last week, stating that they would have until February 14 to negotiate the price and details of the purchase.

"Shareholders and potential investors of the company should note that the terms of the proposed acquisition are still under negotiation and no formal and legally binding agreement in relation to the proposed acquisition has been entered into as of the date of this announcement," IEC told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

"The group has continued to review the existing principal businesses of the group and look for potential business opportunities in order to diversify the group's business. The proposed acquisition, if materialised, represents a good opportunity to diversify the income stream of the company and broaden its revenue base."

IEC, incorporated in the Cayman Islands, describes itself as a hotel operator and also manages the "leasing of properties for casino and ancillary leisure and entertainment operations".

Whelan took over at Wigan - currently top of League One - in 1995 and presided over their rise from the fourth tier to the Premier League a decade later.

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Wigan chairman Dave Whelan looks on during the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Manchester City and Wigan Athletic at the Etihad Stadium on March 9, 2014
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