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LeTV Sports denies takeover deal for Chinese Super League club

LeTV Sports, which is operated by Chinese internet company LeTV, has denied reports it has agreed a deal to take a 50 per cent stake in Chinese Super League football club Beijing Guoan.

Multiple Chinese media reports had stated that the Beijing-based firm, which has been increasing its presence in the sports market, had agreed to invest CNY2bn (€287.9m/$312.1m) in the club. The deal would have also reportedly seen it rebranded as Beijing Guoan LeTV Football Club.

However, LeTV Sports chief executive Lei Zhenjian dismissed such a deal was in place in a post on social media platform Weibo. “That couldn't have happened because I was in the US at that time,” Zhenjian said, according to the Yutang Sports website.

Beijing Guoan’s majority shareholder, state-owned investment company CITIC Group, in December agreed to transfer its 50 per cent stake in the club, which is the only CSL team to have not changed hands since the league was founded in 1993.