Israeli businessman to acquire stake in Atletico Madrid

Israeli businessman to acquire stake in Atletico Madrid

Israeli businessman Idan Ofer has agreed to purchase a stake in La Liga club Atletico Madrid.

Israeli newspaper Calcalist said London-based billionaire Ofer, 62, estimated to have a worth of $2.6 billion, would finalize the purchase at the end of this week. Israeli news website Ynet said Ofer would purchase a 15% stake in the Madrid based club.

These are new times for Atletico Madrid. After the Chinese multinational conglomerate, Wanda Group, bought a stake in the Los Rojiblancos, now it’s the turn of an Israeli company.

Atletico called a news conference on Thursday at their new Wanda Metropolitano stadium to make an “institutional announcement” but did not reveal any details.

Israeli trading platform Plus 500 have sponsored Atletico’s shirt since 2015, paying $50.15 million over four years, according to the club’s accounts. Atletico are the third most successful club in Spanish soccer, with 10 Liga titles and 10 King’s Cups to their name.

In 2014 they broke Real Madrid and Barcelona’s nine-year stranglehold on the La Liga trophy and reached the Champions League final in 2014 and 2016, losing both times to neighbours Real.

They are currently fourth in the Liga standings on 23 points, eight adrift of leaders Barcelona, and host bitter local rivals Real on Saturday in the first city derby at Wanda Metropolitano.

The club, which is valued at $732 million by Forbes, moved into the 67,000-capacity arena in September at a cost of $ 365 million, according to club president Enrique Cerezo. Atletico has a debt of $ 568 million with $256.5 million revenues and core profit of $28.6 million, as per club’s account records as of 30 June 2016.

The accounts state that chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin has a stake of 54.64%, while Chinese conglomerate Wanda, which has the naming rights to the new stadium, has a 20% stake. President Enrique Cerezo has a 17.9% stake, with remaining shares held by minority shareholders.

A big chunk of the debt  – $328 million – is guaranteed by Cerezo and Marin. The club aims to reduce their debt with the sale of the land from their former stadium, the Vicente Calderon, which closed in May.