Investors consider Chelsea takeover

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A group of up to eight international investors is mulling a bid for Chelsea Football Club, one of the investors has told Reuters.

Holger Heims, a German investment manager at Falcon Equity, said in an interview that he and a group of six to seven other investors from Europe, the Middle East and Asia were preparing a takeover offer for the club, which is home to the captain of the German national team, Michael Ballack.

Sulaiman al-Fahim, board member of Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment, which last year bought British club Manchester City, was also part of the group, Heims said.

Heims declined to say how much the group was prepared to pay for Chelsea but said the investment had to add up in the medium to long run.

Germany's tabloid Bild paper reported earlier a possible price tag of 770 million euros (£715m).

So far there had not been any talks with Abramovich, Heims said. "We have no intention of launching a hostile takeover. This is only possible as a friendly deal," Heims said.

Heims aims to push the Chelsea brand further and sees strong growth potential in Asia and the Arab world, he said.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, the man who has bankrolled Chelsea's most successful period since their formation in 1905, has vigorously dismissed speculation that he may have fallen out of love with the boys in blue.