Atletico Madrid confirm investment interest in Liga MX club
Atletico Madrid have admitted to being in talks to take a share in a Mexican club -- with a deal to buy 50 percent of Atletico San Luis apparently close.
Atletico chief executive Miguel Angel Marin was in Mexico in mid-February meeting with executives at the club based in the centrally located city, and also met with the governor of the state of San Luis Potosi, Juan Manuel Carreras Lopez, and the city's mayor, Ricardo Gallardo Suarez, during his visit.
Atletico Madrid did not officially comment on that trip, although San Luis' current owner, Jacobo Payan Espinoza, said in AS that Atletico had an "intention to invest some money in Mexico."
Reports also said that the project would include a new youth academy, where emerging talent could be developed.
Atletico's interest in a Mexican franchise was confirmed in a club statement released after last Friday's board meeting, which also said the club were establishing a "sister company" to look after the management of their other investments in Indian club Atletico de Kolkata and French outfit RC Lens.
"The board approved the constitution of a sister company, 100 percent owned by the club, in which will be concentrated all the activities in foreign entities," the statement said. "Currently the club is the title-owner in these participations in the Indian club Atletico de Kolkata and the French club RC Lens, and is currently involved in talks over taking a share in a Mexican club.
"All these activities, along with other foreign entities which the club might acquire, will be included in this new sister company, that way simplifying and unifying their management. In both cases the board voted with 3.555.237 in favour, which meant a backing of 99.77 percent of the votes cast."
Atletico's statement also said that Wanda Group's representative on the club's board was also changing, with Wanda Sports recently installed new chief executive Yang Hengming taking up the role.
"This Friday an Extraordinary General Meeting of Atletico Madrid's shareholders took place, attended by socios who represented 98.07 percent of the company's social capital," the statement said. "In the first order of the day, the board approved the naming of a new director Mr. Yang Hengming, substituting Mr. Zhang Lin. The new director, Mr. Yang, is the highest official at Wanda Sports, so his presence on the board will be a great support for the club."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan