Tony Xia

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Tony Xia
BornXia Jiantong[1]
26 October 1976 (1976-10-26) (age 42)[2]
Quzhou, Zhejiang, China
ResidenceBeijing, China
NationalityChinese
Alma materHarvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
OccupationEntrepreneur, investor
Years active1999–present
Net worthIncrease£1 billion (2018)[3]
Children1

Tony Jiantong Xia (Chinese: 夏建统; pinyin: Xià Jiàntǒng; born 26 October 1976) is a billionaire Chinese businessman. He is the chairman, CEO and owner of Recon Group. In June 2016, Recon Group bought Aston Villa Football Club from American businessman Randy Lerner, with Xia becoming chairman of the club. On July 14th 2018, Xia sold his majority stake in the club to American businessmen Nassef Sawiris and Wesley Edens, trading under their business name NSWE, and became co-chairman with a minority stake in Aston Villa.

Early life and education[edit]

Xia was born in Quzhou, Zhejiang.[1][4] He began school at the age of four, with his parents telling the school he was six for legal reasons.[2] At the age of 14, he left home to attend university in Beijing.[1][5] He was amongst the first 25 of 1,000 selected to study abroad at Harvard (where he studied landscape design), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a five-month exchange to study at Trinity College, Oxford in 1998–99.[1][2][6]

Career[edit]

In March 1999, Xia founded design company XWHO in Boston, co-owned by his then girlfriend and one of his lecturers. The company relocated to Hangzhou, China where Xia started a planning company called Teamax, which he sold for £430 million.[2]

Recon Group[edit]

Xia took over Chinese company Recon Group in 2004.[1] The company is based in Beijing and Hangzhou and is the umbrella organisation for Xia's companies which operate in IT, Health and Agriculture, New Energy and Smart Transportation, Engineering and Design, financial services, and Sports, Leisure and Tourism.[2][7] Xia says he plans to invest in or buy football clubs in India, Spain, USA and Australia to create a new 'sports sector' within his portfolio.[8]

In February 2017 Recon Group subsidiary Recon Holding agreed to purchase a 51% stake in Millennium Films, a Hollywood film studio specialising in action films including The Expendables series. Previous majority stakeholder and founder Avi Lerner will remain as Chief Executive Officer with Xia becoming chairman.[9]

Aston Villa F.C.[edit]

On 18 May 2016, it was announced that Recon Group had agreed to buy Aston Villa for a reported £60 million from American businessman Randy Lerner, with the club becoming part of Recon Group's Sports, Leisure and Tourism division. On 14 June 2016, the sale was completed for a reported £76 million after being approved by the Football League. Upon completion of the sale, Xia became chairman of the club.[10][11]

Xia sold his majority stake in the club to NSWE in July 2018 and became a minority stakeholder and co-chairman. [12]

Personal life[edit]

Xia has a home in Beijing. He has a wife, Sally, and one child.[13] He became an Aston Villa fan after watching them at Villa Park during his time as a student at Oxford University.[1] Xia played football at college as a striker.[1][7]

Xia describes himself as a self-made millionaire.[1] He describes his net wealth as "rather more" than a dollar billionaire, valuing some of his businesses the same as or more than Teamax which he sold for £430 million: "I own quite a lot of private businesses and I think I can sell some of them for the same amount or more."[2] In 2018, his estimated wealth was £1bn.[3]

Xia uses the English name Tony Xia.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Phillips, Tom (19 May 2016). "Tony Xia hopes revamp will turn Aston Villa into one of world's top three clubs". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Harris, Nick. "Saviour or dreamer? Sportsmail talks to Aston Villa's Tony Xia". Mail Online. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b Strachan, Ian (25 January 2018). "Rich List 2018: No.7= - Dr Tony Xia". birminghampost. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  4. ^ "联合睿康全资收购英超"降班马" 实控人夏建统再施财技". Netsease. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Steve Hollis: Tony Xia takeover will prove "transformational" for Aston Villa". Express & Star. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Aston Villa takeover: Chinese businessman Dr Tony Xia agrees £60m deal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  7. ^ a b Wollaston, Steve (18 May 2016). "Who is Dr Tony Xia?". birminghammail. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  8. ^ Harris, Nick. "New Villa owner Tony Xia plans to make club 'the biggest in the world'". Mail Online. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  9. ^ "China's Recon Buys 51% of Avi Lerner's Millennium Films for $100 Million". Variety. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Introducing Tony Xia | Latest News | Aston Villa". www.avfc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 May 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Club statement: Sale confirmed | Latest News | Aston Villa". www.avfc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 15 June 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Aston Villa: Wes Edens & Nassef Sawiris to make 'significant investment' in club". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  13. ^ Kendrick, Mat (22 May 2016). "What Tony Xia's latest interview tells us about the Aston Villa owner". birminghammail. Retrieved 23 May 2016.