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SBD Global/May 6, 2013/Finance

Adidas Says It's Clean In Uli Hoeneß Tax Case After An Internal Investigation

Adidas insisted that "it had done nothing wrong and was 'clean' after an internal investigation into claims that a top official at Bayern Munich, Germany’s wealthiest football club, was lent millions of euros" by the sports goods maker's former CEO, according to James Wilson of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Former CEO Robert Louis-Dreyfus lent the money to Bayern President Uli Hoeneß, then GM at the club, in '01, according to a media interview given by Hoeneß himself, who "is being investigated for alleged tax evasion over a Swiss bank account." Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer said his company had investigated and was "absolutely clean from a compliance standpoint." Hainer, who officially took over from Louis-Dreyfus in '01, said that "he had not known about the loan" to Hoeneß, while Louis-Dreyfus "had not been personally involved in negotiations between adidas and the football club." Louis-Dreyfus died in '09. Hoeneß is now chair of the football club’s supervisory board, which "is due to meet on Monday and is likely to discuss whether he should remain." Hainer and other German business leaders including Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn "are also on Bayern’s board." Hainer said that "adidas would remain invested in Bayern Munich" (FT, 5/3).
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