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Finance

Hertha Berlin sale agreed with US private equity firm

Featured image credit: Matthias Süßen/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

Featured image credit: Matthias Süßen/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

Hertha Berlin of the German Bundesliga is set to become the latest football club acquired by US private equity investor 777 Partners.

777 has agreed to acquire the 64.7 per cent stake in the club held by Lars Windhorst’s Tennor Holdings, it said in a statement reported by the Bloomberg news agency. In a LinkedIn post today (Thursday), 777 said: “The 777 Football Group continues to expand with Bundesliga’s historic club, Hertha BSC!”

“The sale to 777 Partners is an excellent solution and we are very happy with this outcome,” said present owner Windhorst, who paid €374m ($388.6m) for his majority stake in Hertha back in the summer of 2019.

The club, currently 15th in the Bundesliga, is in the process of developing plans for a new stadium, and earlier this year presented its initial vision for a new 45,000-seat stadium located near to its current home, the City of Berlin-owned Olympiastadion.

Local reports in July claimed that Hertha presented plans to local government representatives for a stadium inspired by Estadio Alberto José Armando, the home of Argentine Primera División club Boca Juniors more commonly known as La Bombonera.

The facility, given the working title of Stadion auf dem Lindeneck, has Boca as its inspiration due to the need to develop within a tight plot of land. Therefore, the stadium will feature stands with steep inclines, with 17,000 of the 45,000-capacity taken up by standing areas. With this in mind, capacity would reduce to 36,500 for international games.

With a current capacity of around 74,000, Hertha is seeking a more intimate stadium for football matches, and one without an athletics track. Under the new proposals it is envisioned that Hertha could still play high-profile matches at the Olympiastadion, for which it currently pays €7.5m per year as a tenancy fee.

777 already owns Belgium’s Standard Liege, France’s Red Star FC, Brazil’s Vasco da Gama, and has a stake in Australia’s Melbourne Victory and Italian Serie B team Genoa. Hertha is set to become the latest addition, although the transaction would require the approval of both Hertha’s board and the German Football League (DFL) due to strict ownership rules in German football. If it does proceed, the deal would be the largest acquisition to date by a foreign company in the German Bundesliga.