The German Football League (DFL) has approved Porsche Group’s acquisition of a stake in Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart, and the automotive company has revealed details of a new tunnel club experience at MHP Arena.
Stuttgart-headquartered Porsche, which is part of the Volkswagen group, agreed a wide-ranging deal with the club last summer, with the partnership including naming rights to the team’s home stadium, Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Mercedes-Benz Arena has been known as the MHP Arena since the start of the 2023-24 season. Porsche holds a majority stake in MHP, a management and IT consultancy firm.
Porsche’s acquisition of a stake in Stuttgart had required approval from the DFL and Germany’s Federal Cartel Office due to the corporate law connections between Porsche and Volkswagen, which owns rival Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg. Approval has now been granted.
As announced last June, Porsche will initially acquire a 5.49% stake in the club. A second tranche can be acquired in June 2024, which would give Porsche a 10.41% stake. Porsche will join Mercedes-Benz and sports apparel manufacturer Jako, Stuttgart’s kit supplier, as a stakeholder in the club.
VfB said last June that the investment could be worth more than €100m (£85m/$108m), with the funds supporting the club after it encountered financial difficulties following COVID-19. Part of the deal saw Mercedes-Benz waive its naming rights to the stadium, with MHP taking the sponsorship under an initial 10-year contract.
Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman and executive board member for finance and IT at Porsche, said: “We are delighted that the German Football League has recognised our investment to be independent. This gives us the opportunity to increase our stake to more than 10%.
“We want to contribute our know-how actively in order to keep developing the team successfully together with all our partners. We share a great tradition with VfB Stuttgart. Porsche is hereby strengthening its long-term commitment to the Stuttgart region, in which both of us have deep roots.”
Porsche has also announced that the Porsche Tunnel Club will open in the main stand of the MHP Arena during the second half of the season.
The exclusive lounge, which Porsche claims is the first of its kind in Europe, will feature space for 215 guests and provide views of the tunnel as players walk out onto the pitch.