Saturday, 8 October 2011

NEWS - After Belgian 'Cercle Sportif VISE', Bakries Snap Up A-League Champion 'Brisbane Roar'

Adding to its status as a player in international football, the Bakrie family has bought a controlling stake in the Brisbane Roar, the reigning champion of Australia’s A-League.  (source)

Pelita Jaya Cronus, the sporting arm of the Bakrie Group, finalized the deal on Friday. Its 70 percent stake makes it the first majority foreign owner of a team in an Australian competition.

Football Federation Australia said the Bakrie Group had bought its stake under a 10-year license. The FFA, which took Brisbane’s license in March, will retain the other 30 percent of the club.

Brisbane joins the ranks of clubs bought by the Bakries, one of the wealthiest and most politically connected families in Indonesia. They also own Belgian second-division club Cercle Sportif Vise, having bought it in April.

They bought a 20 percent stake in English Championship club Leicester City last year, only to sell it earlier this year. In addition to their foreign interests, the Bakries have owned Indonesian Super League club Pelita Jaya since 1986 and have funded Indonesia Futbol S.A.D. in Uruguay’s top Under-17 and Under-19 divisions.

“The Bakries love football. Buying foreign clubs is not only for investment and return profit, but also to help develop the sport, especially in this country,” Pelita Jaya Cronus spokesman Rahim Soekasah told the Jakarta Globe.

“By owning clubs in a more advanced leagues such as Belgium and Australia, we can learn how to run clubs professionally and implement the knowledge to help football in Indonesia.”

Rahim, who did not reveal financial details of the takeover, said it would also give local players a chance to hone their skills overseas.

“We’ve done that by financing Indonesia S.A.D. in Uruguay and sending three players to train with Vise. Who knows if there will be Indonesian players in Brisbane someday?” he said.

Rahim said the Bakries were also looking at investing in a Dutch club but declined to elaborate.

Brisbane opens its 2011-12 season on Saturday. Having won last season’s A-League, it will also take part in the next Asian Champions League campaign.

“We have been working extremely hard to find the right investors for last year’s premiers, and we believe we have found fantastic new owners in the Bakrie Group.” FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said in a statement on Friday.

The Bakrie Group has interests in agriculture, real estate, banking, insurance, media and mining, among other sectors.

Source : - Oct 8, 2011

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