Cardiff City FC mull plan for a stock market float

Michael Bow
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FORMER ENRC chairman Mehmet Dalman is pushing forward with plans to take newly promoted Cardiff City Football Club onto the stock market.

The Square Mile veteran, who is chairman at the club, is understood to have met with capital market bankers to discuss plans for the club, which could include a market float.

Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur are two of the options on the table, it is thought.

Dalman, who spent seven years on the board of Commerzbank, stepped down as chairman of ENRC in April before taking up the chairman’s role at Cardiff a fortnight ago.

He was unavailable for comment last night.

It was previously reported in May that the club was exploring a stock market listing but the new initiative, first reported by the Independent on Sunday, suggests the addition of Dalman to the club’s roster has given the plan renewed impetus.

Tapping investors for cash would cement Cardiff’s ambitious push to become a global force in the footballing world.

The club is owned billionaire Malaysian businessman Vincent Tan, who bought a 36.1 per cent controlling stake in the club in 2010.

The club, which played its home games at Ninian Park until 2009, was promoted to the Premier League for the first time in April.

It will play its first league game on Saturday against West Ham United.

It has sought to build a bigger fanbase in fast growing Asian economies in recent years, including a controversial decision to change the colour of the home kit from blue to red and alter the club’s badge to give less prominence to its longstanding bluebird logo.

A listing would be the second large initial public offering of shares in a British football club in the past year, following Manchester United’s $233.2m debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The club is currently trading just above its float price – an uncommon feat for floated sports clubs, which often tumble after a listing.