Russian businessman completes Monaco takeover
A company connected with Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev has bought a majority stake in ailing seven-time French champions Monaco.
The Principality club released a statement on Friday evening confirming that Rybolovlev's Monaco Sport Invest (MSI) had acquired control of 66.67 percent of shares in the club. The remaining 33 percent of shares will belong to the Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club, "which represents the interests of the Principality."
"The agreement also stipulates that MSI has committed to invest at least 100 million euros into Monaco Football Club over the next four years," the statement read. "This amount constitutes the guaranteed minimum and can be increased ifnecessary."
Prince Albert II of Monaco expressed his hope that the takeover can help Monaco play a prominent role in the French game again in the near future.
"The agreement which has been reached opens a new page in the history of the football team so dear to the Principality," he said. "I wish the team to regain the stature which in the past has made it one of the jewels of Monaco's sporting life."
Meanwhile, Rybolovlev added: "I believe that the club has an enormous potential and I hope that it will be able to fully realize this potential at both National and European levels."
Rybolovlev, who lives in Monaco, is a former medical student who made his fortune in the fertilizer business before selling his controlling stake in Uralkali for $6.5 billion last year. He was named as owning the world's 93rd-largest fortune by the US publication Forbes earlier this year. He becomes chairman of the board at the Stade Louis II.
After being relegated at the end of last season, ending an unbroken 34-year spell in the top flight, Monaco are currently bottom of Ligue 2, three points from safety, with just one win to their name in their opening 18 games.