There are reports floating around that Atletico Madrid is about to take on a new minority owner. Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, the country’s fourth richest man, is reportedly buying a 20% stake in the Colchoneros.
According to Madrid-based sports newspaper AS, Wang is set to purchase a 20 per cent stake in the team for a fee of around €40 million (US$46.4 million) from current owner Miguel Ángel Gil Marín, who is in Beijing with club president Enrique Cerezo to conclude the deal.
Should the investment go forward Wang would be the second high-profile investor from Asia to take a stake in La Liga following Peter Lim’s takeover of Valencia last May. It’s not hard to imagine why Wang chose Atletico; a storied history in Spanish soccer, recent upturn in fortune and Madrid location were surely big selling points.
However it remains to be seen whether the investment is a stepping stone to larger ownership in the club, a strategic partnership supporting his other businesses or merely about financial return.