Whelan family agrees deal to sell Wigan to Hong Kong's IEC

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(Reuters) - A Hong Kong-based consortium are poised to complete a takeover of Wigan Athletic after the club’s owners, the Whelan family, agreed a deal in principle, the League One (third tier) champions said on Monday.

Wigan chairman David Sharpe said the agreement to sell the club’s majority stake to International Entertainment Corporation (IEC) is now subject to approval from the English Football League and the Hong Kong stock exchange.

IEC confirmed in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday that the 22 million pounds deal includes a majority shareholding in Wigan’s DW Stadium and the training grounds.

“It is important to confirm that this process, which has taken longer than expected, has now reached the next stage,” Sharpe said in a statement.

“Whilst we await formal approval and consent by the aforementioned parties, which may take some time, the Whelan family will do whatever it can to support the business operations and IEC during this transition.”

The Whelan family have been the majority shareholders of Wigan since 1995, overseeing their rise to the Premier League and their FA Cup triumph in 2013, the season they were relegated from the top flight.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis