Abu Dhabi Businessman Set to Acquire German Soccer Club

A 34-year old Abu Dhabi-based Jordanian businessman, Hasan Abdullah Ismaik, is acquiring financially troubled second division German soccer club TSV 1860 Munich, according to Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Mr. Ismaik’s €13 million acquisition of 49 percent of 1860 Munich would bring the club, burdened with a €14 million debt, back from the brink of bankruptcy.

If concluded, the acquisition would be the second takeover in a week by businessmen in the UAE. Dubai-based Royal Emirates Group bought Spanish La Liga club Getafe FC for an estimated €90 million.

Mr. Ismaik’s acquisition would be the first by a Gulf businessman of a club in Germany. Gulf investors have so far focused on teams in England and Spain. The proposed deal has yet to be approved by the German Football League.

Mr. Ismaik hopes to return 1860 Munich to Germany’s premier league, the Bundesliga, from which it was relegated in 2004 by investing €20 million. He is offering to pay €5 million of the club’s debt provided that creditors agree to waive some of the debt.

"We look forward to working together," Sueddeutsche Zeitung quoted Mr. Ismaik as saying.

German champions in 1966, 1860 Munich were the Bavarian capital’s main club until the late 1960s when Bayern Munich began to dominate the Bundesliga.

Mr. Ismaik is reported to have made his money in real estate and contracting for major Middle Eastern oil companies.


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