Wanda was the first Chinese company to invest in a top-flight European football club and have now become the first Chinese company to exit from the club investments in Atletico Madrid.
The club management announced that the Chinese conglomerate multinational group who held 17% of shares of the club have decided to divest its interest.
Quantum Pacific Group, an entity led by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer, has more than doubled its stake in Atlético Madrid after agreeing to a deal to acquire the interest held in the Spanish LaLiga football club by Wanda.
Atlético announced that Quantum will acquire Wanda’s 17 % stake, adding that the Chinese firm’s decision to divest its interest was part of its “global strategy”.
Once the transfer of the shares is finalised, which requires the authorisation of the Spanish Superior Council of Sports, Quantum will increase its stake from 15 to 32 %. Miguel Ángel Gil and Enrique Cerezo, chief executive and president of the club, respectively, remain the majority shareholders.
Quantum Pacific Group acquired its initial 15 % stake in November through a deal that involved a reduction of the shareholdings held by Cerezo, Gil, and Wanda. The 15 % stake was then valued at $61.2m.
Cerezo is the club’s majority shareholder along with Gil, and after the rights issue their share dropped from 72.5 % to 65 %. Wanda paid 358 Crores for a 20 % stake in the club in January 2015 marking the first-ever Chinese investment in a top-flight European football club.
In a statement, Atlético said today: “In this new scenario, Atlético de Madrid and Dalian Wanda Group have corroborated their firm commitment to continue their mutual collaboration, which will be strengthened in the coming months thanks to new initiatives.
“Wanda maintains its support as a sponsor of the club, which can be seen in the name of the club’s stadium, the Wanda Metropolitano, which, for the coming years, will continue being the name of the stadium. And also to continue the ambitious project to educate and train children and young adults, in which both entities have been collaborating for six years in a very successful manner and which has turned our academy into a model of hard work and results at a global level.
“Lastly, both entities have renewed the strategic agreement to develop the Atlético de Madrid brand in China through Wanda Sports.