Insurance Company Allianz Pays $150M For 8.33% Stake In Bayern Munich
Insurance company Allianz is paying €110M ($150M) for an 8.33% stake in Bundesliga side Bayern Munich, according to the SID. Both sides "confirmed the deal on Tuesday evening." Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeneß said, "Today is a great day for FC Bayern. We have unanimously made this decision within the club's board and advisory council. ... It's a dream -- we are very proud of it as it shows the strength of this club." The majority of the money "is expected to go toward the financing of the stadium, on which Allianz has held the naming rights since it opened in '05." Should that be the case, the arena "would be immediately paid off, and Bayern Munich debt free." It would also provide the club with about €30M ($41M) annually available for other purposes. The insurance company "becomes the third-largest shareholder of the club after adidas and Audi." Adidas acquired a 10% stake in the club for €75M in '01. Audi paid €90M for its 9.09% stake in '09 (HANDELSBLATT, 2/11). In London, Blitz, Wilson & Vasagar wrote Allianz "will also extend its naming-rights deal for Bayern's stadium." The arena "will be known as the Allianz Arena until 2041." A person familiar with the transaction said, "There are only a handful of clubs known the world over and this is one." The person added that the Allianz Arena "gets more visitors than Neuschwanstein," the fairytale castle in Bavaria. Allianz said that the club "would use the proceeds to repay debt and build a football youth centre" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 2/11).