By Andy Sambidge
Businessman uses his Abu Dhabi-based investment firm to buy 49% stake in football club for $25m
Jordan businessman Hasan Abdullah Mohamed Ismaik has used his Abu Dhabi-based investment firm to buy a stake in a German football club.
He said on Sunday that he has bought 49 percent of voting rights in TSV 1860 Munchen for 18m Euros ($25.8m).
In a statement, he said the German Football League DFL approved the business plan jointly filed by Ismaik and the club and granted the licence for the 2011/12 season.
Due to current restrictions set by the league, investors are only allowed to hold a maximum stake of 49 percent in professional football clubs.
The statement added that his investment would safeguard the survival of the Munich-based football club, which would have otherwise faced insolvency and lost its professional licence.
The investment was made through Marya, a private Abu Dhabi-based investment company chaired and owned by Ismaik.
The group has a broad investment mandate which extends to various sectors, including sports, design, construction, real estate, automotive, travel, energy and oil and gas.
TSV 1860 Munchen was one of the founding members of the German national Bundesliga in 1963 and has played a total of 20 seasons in the top flight.
After relegation in the 2003-04 season, the club currently plays in the second division of the Bundesliga.
"TSV 1860 has a great tradition and identity that ought to be preserved and supported," said Ismaik.
"The club has enormous potential and a truly great and passionate fanbase. Together with management headed by President Dieter Schneider, I will do everything to bring 1860 back into the profit zone within the next season.
"Within two or three years, we want to be playing in the premier division of the Bundesliga again and even eventually compete internationally at some point in the future."
He added that he was looking at further investments in Germany and would set up a fund of 200 million Euros soon to focus on acquisitions and investments.