June 9, 2017 / 4:35 PM / 2 months ago

Lander owner cleared for Southampton takeover

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Football Soccer - Southampton v Crystal Palace - FA Cup Third Round - St Mary's Stadium - 9/1/16 General view of a Southampton flag Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien Livepic/files

LONDON (Reuters) - The Premier League has given Lander Sports owner Gao Jisheng clearance to take over Southampton's holding company, the Chinese stadium builder said on Friday.

"The company’s owner Mr Gao Jisheng has confirmed that he has obtained a verbal approval from the English Premier League to acquire an 80 percent stake in St Mary’s Football Group Ltd," Lander said in a statement to the Shenzhen stock exchange.

It added that Gao had yet to receive approval documents.

British media reports have indicated the takeover would cost 190 million pounds ($241.95 million).

Lander announced in April it was terminating plans to buy a stake in Southampton after earlier striking a deal with Saints' owner Katharina Liebherr. It said on Friday that it was not directly involved in the takeover.

Southampton ended last season eighth overall.

($1 = 0.7853 pounds)

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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