Jailed Chinese tycoon in bid to own HMS Ark Royal

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HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

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CHINA’S former richest man, who is serving a 14-year jail sentence for bribery and insider trading, is bidding to own HMS Ark Royal.

Disgraced tycoon Huang Guangyu plans to turn the axed aircraft carrier into a floating exhibition centre for luxury items.

Hong Kong-based Eagle Vantage Asset Management bid on Huang’s behalf, describing him as ‘the ultimate beneficiary of the company’.

Zhao Qiguang, the Eagle executive in charge of the bid, told AFP: ‘We hope we can moor off the coast of Hong Kong or Macau.’

Eagle declined to say what the size of the bid was.

The auction for Ark Royal closed last week. The MoD is expected to announce the winning bid next month.

An MoD spokesman said there was no formal ‘fit and proper person test’ for bidders. He added: ‘We will be assessing bid rather than the bidder.’

The warship was axed last year in government cuts.