Bayern Munich extends Audi drive as BMW stays out

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Bundesliga club Bayern Munich will extend the longstanding partnership with German luxury car brand Audi as BMW has pulled out of negotiations to sponsor the German football champion club, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung has reported.

Bayern Munich and BMW had reportedly signed an MoU for a ten-year association worth € 800 mn ($893 mn) for a strategic partnership by 2025 when Audi’s running deal with the club were to expire, Munich president Uli Hoeness had revealed in March.

Any potential deal would also have seen the Bavaria-based car company buy out Audi’s 8.33% stake in the club, which it acquired in 2011 for €90 million (US$100 million).

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However, according to FAS, Audi has since priced BMW out of a deal by offering Bayern improved terms of €60 million (US$67 million) annually, with other elements of a proposed new contract ensuring that the club would stand to make more than €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) over a 12-year period.

A BMW spokesperson had reportedly told FAS that matching Audi’s improved offer would have been “economically unjustifiable” and “indefensible from a business point of view”, adding that the company had consequently opted out of pursuing a deal with Bayern.

“We have ended the talks and will not become sponsors of FC Bayern,” the spokesperson confirmed.

News of Audi’s mega-offer emerged shortly before Bayern’s 5-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, which saw the club hold off Borussia Dortmund’s latest challenge to win their seventh consecutive Bundesliga title.

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