ROYAL ZARAGOZA | Signed the sale of Zaragoza

Real Zaragoza has just announced in a statement that the investment group headed by the American businessman Jorge Mas Santos has acquired, after all the documentation was signed this morning at a notary’s office in the Aragonese capital, 51% of the share capital of the sports corporation , that is, the one held by César Alierta (50%) and his nephew Fernando Sáinz de Varanda (1.56%), a sale that is conditional on the permanence of the Aragonese team in the Second Division and the authorization of the entire operation by of the Higher Sports Council. Once both requirements are met, the investment group will also acquire the shareholding packages of the Yarza family (13.46%), Juan Forcén (13.46%) and Carlos Iribarren (13.46%), going on to control more than 91% of the shareholders.

The investment group, with extensive experience in the world of football and in the management of Inter Miami, French Lens and Millonarios de Bogotá, is made up of, among others, the brothers Jorge and José Mas Santos, Joseph Oughourlian, founder and CEO of Amber Capital and president of PRISA, publisher of AS, Jim Carpenter, president of the RMG Team capital company, and Jim Miller and Mark Affolter, executives of Ares Management Corporation.

The new general director of Real Zaragoza, as AS has been telling, will be Raúl Sanllehí, a top-level executive, with experience in the position at Barcelona and Arsenal, who will have vast powers and will be in charge of restructuring all management areas from Real Saragossa.

The new property will first undertake a renewal of the board of directors and immediately a reduction of the net debt of the sports limited company, which amounts to 68 million euros, in order to increase the salary limit for next season, whose sole objective will be promotion to the First Division.

AS already revealed on March 22 that the Mas Santos brothers closed their entry into Real Zaragoza in a meeting in Madrid together with their lawyers and the rest of the investors, and that a special account with 16.5 million euros was immediately set up at CaixaBank for the payment of the shares and the lifting of the guarantees of César Alierta, the Yarza family, Juan Forcén and Carlos Iribarren.

This is the full statement:

“Today is an important day in the history of Real Zaragoza. A new stage begins with the commitment to work towards the goal of our club once again competing in the place it deserves due to its record and fans.

Our entity announces the acquisition of more than 51% of the share capital of SAD by a group of investors, who have extensive experience in the world of soccer and in the management of clubs worldwide such as Inter Miami ( USA), Racing Club de Lens (France) and Millonarios FC (Colombia). This group is made up of various investors, including the brothers Jorge and José Mas Santos, Joseph Oughourlian, Gustavo Serpa, Jim Carpenter and Jim Miller. The agreement is subject to two conditions precedent: the permanence of Real Zaragoza in LaLiga SmartBank this season and the authorization of the operation by the Higher Sports Council.

The arrival of the new investment group will entail a reduction in debt that will make it possible to undertake a short-term investment that increases the workforce cost limit imposed by LaLiga’s financial control, in order to improve the competitiveness of the first team, as well as a renewal of the infrastructures that improve the experience of our fans. Both aspects are fundamental pillars to make Real Zaragoza a club with better resources and greater potential when it comes to growing both institutionally and sportingly.

The new management team arrives with the aim of building a Real Zaragoza that returns to the elite of Spanish football, with full integration into Zaragoza values ​​being another of the hallmarks of this new stage. The club is a heritage of Aragon and, therefore, the project will have the maximum respect for the memory of the entity and its Aragonese roots, where the local links that the entity already has will be maintained and strengthened, in addition to working on the internationalization of the club and with it the city.

The management will be headed by Raúl Sanllehí, as general director of the club. Sanllehí has ​​more than 25 years of experience after his professional development at FC Barcelona, ​​Arsenal FC and in international football organizations such as ECA, UEFA and FIFA. All areas will be reinforced with highly experienced professionals in their respective specialties, seeking the goal of growing in all areas under the premises of professionalism, effort and teamwork. The project will be marked by the desire to provide the club with a team with the ability to compete with the best, create infrastructure to improve services to fans, as well as create synergies between the different clubs owned by investors that promote sports development , financial, commercial and brand.

The new management team is aware of the situation that the club has gone through in recent years and requests the support and patience of the Zaragoza fans for a project to which it will dedicate its maximum effort and enthusiasm, rigor and professionalism in the work and support to achieve the objective of placing Real Zaragoza in the place that it deserves due to its history and fans”.