Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer to buy Atletico stake

Israeli businessman Idan Ofer has agreed to purchase a stake in La Liga club Atletico Madrid, Israeli media said on Wednesday
Nigeria B - Atlético Madrid: friendly

Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer to buy Atletico stake

Israeli newspaper Calcalist said London-based billionaire Idan Ofer, 62, estimated to be worth 2.2 billion euros, would finalise the purchase at the end of this week. Israeli news website Ynet said Ofer would purchase a 15 percent in La Liga club Atletico Madrid.

Atletico called a news conference on Thursday at their new Wanda Metropolitano stadium to make an "institutional announcement" but did not reveal any details. The club could not immediately be reached for comment. Israeli trading platform Plus 500 have sponsored Atletico's shirt since 2015, paying 42.5 million euros over four years, according to the club's accounts.

Atletico are the third most successful club in Spanish soccer, with 10 Liga titles and 10 King's Cups to their name. In 2014 they broke Real Madrid and Barcelona's nine-year stranglehold on the Liga trophy and reached the Champions League final in 2014 and 2016, losing both times to neighbours Real. They are currently fourth in the Liga standings on 23 points, eight adrift of leaders Barcelona, and host bitter local rivals Real on Saturday in the first city derby at Wanda Metropolitano.

Atletico has a debt of 483 million euros

The club, which is valued at at 620 million euros by Forbes, moved into the 67,000-capacity arena in September at a cost of 310 million euros according to club president Enrique Cerezo. According to the club's accounts as of 30 June 2016, Atletico has a debt of 483 million euros with 218 million revenues and core profit of 24.3 million euros.

The accounts state that chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin has a stake of 54.64 percent, while Chinese conglomerate Wanda, which has the naming rights to the new stadium, has a 20 percent stake. President Enrique Cerezo has a 17.9 percent stake, with remaining shares held by minority shareholders.

A big chunk of the debt -279 million euros - is guaranteed by Cerezo and Marin. The club aims to reduce their debt with the sale of the land from their former stadium, the Vicente Calderon, which closed in May.