Miami-based 777 Partners takes 64.7% stake in Hertha Berlin
BERLIN (AP) — Miami-based investment group 777 Partners has completed its 64.7% majority stake takeover of Hertha Berlin.
The German soccer club said Saturday that 777 had acquired the company shares previously owned by Lars Windhorst’s investment group. Windhorst said in October he wanted out after a breakdown in his relationship with the club.
Windhorst had invested 374 million euros ($400 million) since 2019 on his dream of turning Hertha into a “big city club” but only ever saw the team fight relegation amid constant upheaval. Windhorst allegedly hired an Israeli detective agency to try and force Hertha’s previous president out, then also fell out with his successor.
The sale of Windhorst’s shares was approved by the Hertha’s supervisory board and by the registered company behind the club. Financial details of sale were not disclosed.
“This strategic partnership helps us to further advance the restructuring process and the economic consolidation of Hertha BSC,” Hertha president Kay Bernstein said in a statement.
The club retains the majority of voting rights in keeping with German soccer’s 50-plus-1 rule limiting the influence of outside investors.
American firm 777 already had stakes in Spanish club Sevilla, Italian club Genoa, Vasco da Gama in Brazil, Belgian club Standard Liege, Red Star FC in France, and Melbourne Victory in Australia.
“Over the past few months, we have had the opportunity to learn about the rich history and culture that makes Hertha BSC so special, and we are looking forward to learning even more,” 777 co-founder Josh Wander said. “It is a great honor to be a partner of one of the founding members of the Bundesliga. All of us at 777 are aware of the responsibility that comes with this honor, and our team stands ready to help wherever we can.”
The new investor now faces an anxious wait to see where Hertha will be playing next season. The team was just one point above the Bundesliga’s relegation zone with the bottom three all on 19 points before Saturday’s games. Hertha was playing Mainz at home.
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Ciarán Fahey, The Associated Press