Lars Windhorst sells majority to 777 Partners

Hertha Berlin fans

Lars Windhorst sells his majority stake in the professional department of the Berlin Bundesliga club to an international investor. Fans have been calling for his resignation for some time.

(Photo: IMAGO/Matthias Koch)

Dusseldorf Lars Windhorst sells his majority stake in the Berlin Bundesliga club Hertha BSC to the US company 777 Partners. The “strategic investor” will take over the 64.7 percent stake in the spun off professional football department of Windhorst’s Tennor Holding, as announced on Thursday.

“We are very satisfied with the result,” Windhorst is quoted as saying in a statement. A Tennor spokesman confirmed to Handelsblatt that the sale was “without financial damage”. 777 Partners should therefore pay at least the 374 million euros that Windhorst had invested in the Bundesliga in recent years.

Windhorst had already said at an event organized by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” on Wednesday that he regretted the sale emotionally, but not financially. However, Windhorst is unlikely to have made a large profit, as the economic situation at Hertha BSC and the overall economic circumstances suggest.

Hertha BSC has a right of first refusal that the club will probably not be able to use

The entrepreneur joined the Berliners in 2019. However, the plan to turn the club into a “Big City Club” with the investment did not come true. While local rivals Union made it into the European Cup last season, Hertha only saved themselves in the relegation. The club is currently just above the relegation zone.

Top jobs of the day

Find the best jobs now and
be notified by email.

The club has a contractually agreed right of first refusal for Windhorst’s majority shares. Therefore, Hertha still has to agree to the transaction, but that is considered safe. The financially troubled club will hardly be able to raise the 374 million euros required for the buyback.

Hertha had already responded to the announcement on Wednesday with a statement that Windhorst had found a buyer for his shares. “We are delighted with this news. Everything else will now be dealt with according to our agreement.

“Hertha BSC can benefit greatly from this new shareholder,” Windhorst is further quoted in the Tennor Holding statement. “He brings not only economic strength, but also a lot of professional experience and an impressive network of international football clubs. The entry of 777 Partners is a step towards a successful future for Hertha BSC.”

It is the first time that an international investor, who also holds shares in other football clubs, has acquired a majority stake in a Bundesliga team. RB Leipzig, for example, belongs to the Red Bull beverage company from Austria. Like its counterparts in Salzburg and New York, the club is designed as a brand vehicle as part of the Red Bull franchise and is geared towards development.

777 Partners also holds shares in FC Sevilla from Spain, CFC Genoa from Italy, Standard Liège from Belgium and Melbourne Victory from Australia. The company also has investments in the aviation and insurance sectors.

As with other outsourced professional departments in the German soccer leagues, the voting majority at Hertha BSC continues to rest with the parent club in accordance with the 50+1 rule. The football professionals are outsourced to a GmbH & Co. KGaA. Windhorst has held the majority so far. Hertha BSC Verwaltungs GmbH as the general partner is the sole managing director and continues to be fully controlled by the association.

There were several potential buyers, said Tennor Holding’s spokesman, and they were also in contact with an investment bank. In the end, however, 777 Partners approached the company directly with the best offer. “We were surprised at the great interest. This shows that it is not the idea of ​​​​investors in football that has failed here, but only an individual project,” said the spokesman.

More: DFL starts talks with investors about partial sale of media rights worth billions

source site-15