Over the weekend, Beijing Enterprises Group reached an agreement to take over China League One football club Beijing Baxy. The side currently sits in fourth place, 6 points away from promotion to the Chinese Super League.
As of present, nothing has been announced about how much Beijing Enterprises paid, whether Baxy’s name will change, or how things will be arranged, in a statement Baxy’s chairman stated an announcement would come on October 19th regarding these details, but that this development is “a great thing for Beijing and Chinese football.”
Baxy’s been near the top of League One the past two seasons, but hasn’t been good enough to move into the top flight. The club has always been weak financially and were previously in talks with the Wanda Group. Earlier this season, the team took on Yanjing Beer as one of their sponsors (interestingly, Yanjing is one of the brands within Beijing Enterprises).
Beijing Enterprises has shown an interest in sports recently, last year they attempted to purchase Shanxi’s basketball team for RMB150 million and move it to Beijing. It instantly becomes one of the richest club owners in Chinese football, though still lags behind the top tier like Guoan (CITIC), Evergrande, and Luneng. The company touches all aspects of life in Beijing (and China), among it’s holdings are Beijing Gas, Yanjing Beer, Sanyuan Dairy, and a number of shopping malls and real estate. Portions of the company are listed in Hong Kong and its on #1196 on Forbes 2000 biggest public companies.
With this kind of backing, it seems likely we’ll see a “Beijing derby” in the near future.