Chinese billionaire sells stake in top soccer club Atletico Madrid

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin is giving up one of his trophy assets.His company, Dalian Wanda Group, has ag...

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 12:33 PM
Updated: Feb 15, 2018 12:33 PM

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin is giving up one of his trophy assets.

His company, Dalian Wanda Group, has agreed to sell its 17% stake in top Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid.

The team announced the news in a statement Wednesday, saying that "the decision to divest is part of the global strategy of Dalian Wanda Group."

That global strategy looks like a fire sale at the moment.

Wang, who made his fortune in Chinese real estate, gained wider international attention a few years ago by pumping money into sports and entertainment businesses including Legendary Entertainment, the Hollywood studio that produced movies like "Jurassic World."

Related: Once China's richest man, Wang Jianlin is selling off his global empire

It became the first Chinese company to invest in a top-flight European soccer club in 2015, when it paid -45 million ($56 million) for a 20% stake in Atletico de Madrid.

It was part of a grand expansion plan fueled by Wang's ambition.

"Considering my personality and how the company has been executing my plans, I think we will be No. 1 in the world in real estate, entertainment, tourism and sports," he told CNNMoney in an interview in September 2016.

That all changed last year as Wanda came under pressure from the Chinese government to rein in its international ambitions. Wanda is now rapidly dumping international properties and investments to pay off the debts amassed during its aggressive expansion.

Related: Chinese billionaire dumps huge London real estate deal

The company agreed last month to sell its stakes in high-profile projects in London and Australia.

The Atletico Madrid stake is going to Quantum Pacific Group, a global conglomerate led by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer, for an undisclosed sum.

Quantum Pacific is already a big investor in Atletico, and its stake will now rise to 32%, the club said. It paid 50 million euros ($63 million at current exchange rates) in 2015 for its initial stake.

Wanda isn't cutting ties altogether with Atletico, which won the Spanish league in 2014 and twice played in the final of the UEFA Champions League in recent years.

The Chinese company will maintain its sponsorship of the team, whose stadium will "for the coming years" bear the name Wanda Metropolitano.

Wanda did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It still has other international sports businesses on its books including World Triathlon Corporation, the company that organizes Ironman events, for which it paid $650 million in 2015.

Lafayette
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 38°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 32°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 29°
Lafayette
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 38°
Danville
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 42°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 34°
Frankfort
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 34°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 32°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 32°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 30°
Mild Conditions Continue Wednesday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

WLFI is promoting fire safety with FREE smoke detectors

 WLFI and several local fire departments are helping with your fire safety this winter. CLICK HERE. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 657037

Reported Deaths: 12450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion901321624
Lake48105871
Allen35552632
Hamilton31839393
St. Joseph29538510
Elkhart25261412
Vanderburgh21115377
Tippecanoe19765197
Johnson16242352
Porter15838267
Hendricks15723296
Clark11843179
Madison11672314
Vigo11503228
Monroe10248158
Delaware9788178
LaPorte9720194
Howard9017194
Kosciusko8514107
Bartholomew7373147
Warrick7369146
Hancock7362128
Floyd7139164
Wayne6586188
Grant6395157
Morgan6040124
Boone603388
Dubois5868111
Dearborn540266
Henry539492
Marshall5390104
Cass537199
Noble506775
Jackson462063
Shelby458490
Lawrence4154111
Gibson399681
Harrison395160
Clinton392353
DeKalb382078
Montgomery381583
Knox354484
Miami354063
Whitley346235
Huntington338176
Steuben335955
Wabash328775
Putnam325959
Ripley325161
Adams320249
Jasper312943
White295351
Jefferson292770
Daviess284296
Fayette270255
Decatur269388
Greene259978
Posey259731
Wells255374
Scott248446
LaGrange240170
Clay238944
Randolph225076
Spencer215830
Jennings213544
Washington207727
Sullivan202038
Fountain200341
Starke185950
Owen181652
Jay177328
Fulton176437
Carroll175618
Perry172435
Orange170450
Rush163922
Franklin158335
Vermillion158040
Tipton145441
Parke137915
Pike127232
Blackford120027
Pulaski105643
Newton96431
Brown94639
Benton91113
Crawford90113
Martin80114
Switzerland7507
Warren74612
Union66810
Ohio52711
Unassigned0425

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events