Valencia soccer club chief sells his stake
Spanish businessman Juan Villalonga yesterday reached an agreement to acquire the 40-percent stake held in Valencia soccer club by its president Juan Soler.27 February 2008
MADRID - Spanish businessman Juan Villalonga yesterday reached an agreement to acquire the 40-percent stake held in Valencia soccer club by its president Juan Soler.
Soler has been under pressure to resign after a series of bad results on the field and the controversial decision to sideline some of the team's leading players.
Villalonga, a former chairman of Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica, paid EUR 66 million for Soler's interest in the club.
Vicente Soriano, Valencia's second-biggest shareholder with 20,000 shares, had canvassed Villalonga about buying Soler's stake and accompanied him in negotiations with the Valencia club president.
Under a side deal, Villalonga will sell Soriano 25,000 of the 70,000 shares he bought from Soler, so that both hold 45,000.
Marita Boluda Villalonga, a cousin of Juan Villalonga, said while Valencia's new shareholder is not a keen soccer fan, he is an "excellent" manager, although she added: "A soccer club isn't a business."
[Copyright El Pais / CAYETANO ROS 2008]