Wanda sells Atletico Madrid stake to Israeli company

MADRID (AP) Atletico Madrid says Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has sold its stake in the Spanish club to an Israeli-owned company.

Idan Ofer's Quantum Pacific is raising its stake to 32 percent after acquiring the 17 percent of Atletico that Wanda has owned since 2015.

The share sale will not impact on the naming rights of Atletico's recently inaugurated stadium, which is called Wanda Metropolitano.

Atletico said Wednesday that Wanda's decision to divest itself of shares in the team was part of a "global strategy," adding that "mutual collaboration" will continue with Wanda, with "new initiatives" in the coming months.

Atletico says Wanda will remain a sponsor and help to develop the club brand in China.

Quantum Pacific acquired a 15 percent stake in Atletico last year for 50 million euros (then $59 million). Its purchase of Wanda's 17 percent stake needs to be authorized by the Spanish Superior Council of Sports.

Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil and president Enrique Cerezo will remain the majority shareholders of the team, which is the third force in Spanish soccer behind Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Atletico has been steadily gaining strength, becoming a regular title contender in Spain and in Europe, enabling it to attract lucrative sponsorships and increase television rights earnings.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

Updated February 14, 2018

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