Real bite the dust in Mubadala legal battle


Real Madrid looses court battle against Mubadala Image: Real Madrid

The LaLiga club Real Madrid CF have lost a $440 million court battle with the Abu Dhabi sovereign investor Mubadala over the proposed sponsorship of its home ground – the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain – sources with knowledge of the case informed.

‘Reuters’ stated that Real Madrid had claimed 400 million euros ($440 million) from Mubadala because it said the Abu Dhabi sovereign investor failed to honor a sponsorship deal under which it would acquire rights to name the Real Madrid residence – the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain – for 20 years.

The Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, commonly referred to as Real Madrid, is a Spanish professional football club based in Madrid (Spain) who has been playing in LaLiga since 1929. Founded in 1902 as the Madrid Football Club, the club has traditionally worn a white home kit since its inception.

The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is a football stadium in Madrid, Spain. With a current seating capacity of 81,044, it has the second-largest capacity in Spain, and has been the home stadium of Real Madrid since its completion in 1947.

Abu Dhabi (UAE)-based the Mubadala Investment Company – a sovereign investor – manages a diverse portfolio of assets and investments in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and abroad, to generate sustainable financial returns for its shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi.

‘Reuters’ further quoted the source as stating, “The arbitral tribunal constituted under the rules of the Court of International Trade in Paris has ruled in favor of (Mubadala).”

In 2014, Real Madrid agreed to a strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi fund International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), now Mubadala, to help finance a planned stadium overhaul.

The project was meant to add a striking new roof and exterior to the current structure and include a hotel and a shopping center, to help the world’s richest club by income boost its revenue.

However, in 2015, a Madrid court halted the original modification of the stadium.

A later plan, approved by the Madrid City Council in 2017, was different to the one agreed by the soccer club and Mubadala.

The court ruled the sponsorship contract had expired by the time the second expansion was agreed in 2017.

One of the world’s top law firms Allen & Overy y GBS Disputes advised IPIC Mubadala and Alonso and Díez-Hochleitner Abogados (law firm in Madrid) y Pérez-Llorca (leading law firm in Spain) advised Real Madrid.

Mudabala’s holdings include the Spanish energy firm Compania Espanola de Petroleos (CPF.GQ).

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