Club Brugge is for sale: Bart Verhaeghe and other shareholders want to sell part or all of the club

Club Brugge is for sale. Bart Verhaeghe and a group of other shareholders want to sell part or even all of the club. This can be read in a prospectus that the club has circulated to possible buyers from the financial world.

Club Brugge is 71.89 percent owned by Grizzly Sports NV, the company in which chairman Bart Verhaeghe, CEO Vincent Mannaert, Peter Vanhecke (CEO Casstel Capital) and Jan Boone (CEO Lotus) have their shares bundled. Those shares are now for sale.

Until a few years ago, Verhaeghe and co. own almost all of the shares. In the summer of 2021, they sold 23.26 percent of the shares to Orkila Capital, an American investment fund. The Americans then paid 30 million euros to Verhaeghe and co. and they also invested another 20 million euros in fresh capital in blue-black.


Club responds: “We are looking at all possible opportunities”

At Club Brugge they respond briefly to the news: “The football world is changing rapidly. At Club Brugge we have been preparing for the future for years and we look at all possible opportunities that can sustainably strengthen our Belgian market leadership and ensure the future of the club. The changes in the European competitions and the preparations for the construction of our new stadium reinforce that ambition.”

“There is a well-known high interest in European football assets with regard to clubs, leagues and media rights, and Club is an interesting party in this. It is good governance to prepare for the future and that is exactly what we are doing now. Together with Raine Group (an investment bank that took over the sale of Chelsea and is currently doing the same for Manchester United, ed.) we strategically look at the best opportunities in the market. For now, nothing is concrete.”

Bart Verhaeghe has been chairman of Club Brugge since 2011, in 2012 he converted the non-profit association (vzw) into a public limited company (nv) and became the owner of the club for 15 million euros. After more than ten years, in which Club won five national titles and a cup, he is now happy to distance himself from football.

© Kris Van Excel

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