Stuttgart-headquartered multinational automotive corporation Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, has confirmed that it is set to become the designated 'anchor investor' in German soccer side VfB Stuttgart.
According to German sports industry news outlet Sponsors.de, Daimler has agreed an initial €41.5 million (US$44.5 million) investment in the 2. Bundesliga club, pending the approval of the VfB board, who will meet at an extraordinary general meeting on 1st June. The motion requires the approval of three-quarters of the board members.
Should the motion pass, Daimler would receive an 11.75 per cent stake in VfB Stuttgart for €41.5 million, placing the overall value of the club at over €350 million (US$376 million). In addition, Daimler would step up its existing sponsorship commitments to the team.
Stuttgart currently play in the 2. Bundesliga, Germany's second tier, but are currently top of that division with five games left to play. In the event that they fail to achieve promotion to the Bundesliga, Daimler will downgrade its investment to take just a five per cent stake.
The move is the first step in VfB's stated intention to generate at least €100 million from the sale of 24.9 per cent of the club over the next few years.
Stuttgart's next fixture is a home tie against third-placed Union Berlin, who could leapfrog the Swabians into the top spot with a victory.