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Chinese investors buy stake in Atlético Madrid

A Chinese conglomerate has bought a 20% stake in the Spanish champions Atlético Madrid. The Dalian Wanda Group purchased the stake in the La Liga club for £34.4m, reports The Guardian. A statement from the club read: "Wanda Group's capital contribution in the club will allow Atlético to significantly shore up its balance sheet, as well as accelerate the growth of its brand globally.

"Both parties have agreed that the transaction will be implemented through a rights issue, in which all of the cash provided by the Wanda Group will be injected in the club, thus benefiting all existing shareholders.

"To this end, the Wanda Group has committed to subscribe a number of shares representing, after completion of the capital increase proposed which the club's board of directors will immediately submit to the general shareholders' meeting, a 20% equity share of Atlético Madrid through a £34.4m investment.

"Wanda Group is a leading Chinese conglomerate operating in sectors such as entertainment, hotels and real estate with an extensive footprint in its domestic market and strong growth in Europe and the US.

"Furthermore, Wanda Group has a deep knowledge and a long-standing presence in Chinese football, where it was the main sponsor of the Chinese Super League for several seasons."

The Atlético president Enrique Cerezo, one of the club's leading shareholders, was thrilled with Wanda's decision to invest in the Madrid side.

"This is magnificent for our club," he said. "That a company like Wanda becomes a shareholders of Atlético is fantastic for the team and for all of our fans.

"We are going to be able to do a lot more things with Wanda on board. Wanda's investment will be very important for the economy of the club."

As part of the agreement, Atlético and Wanda will work together towards opening three football schools in China. Atlético will also be invited to play in China every year and the Spanish club will provide special training programmes in Madrid for Chinese youngsters.

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