After denying reports they were selling, Atalanta have now announced a partnership deal with American investors – including the co-owner of the Boston Celtics – to sell 55 per cent of the club.
There had been rumours over the past few days that the Percassi family were prepared to sell up and leave Bergamo after over 10 years at the helm, taking La Dea from Serie B to the Champions League.
Instead, it has been announced as a ‘Partnership’ between the Percassi family and a group of investors led by Stephen Pagliuca, Managing Partner and Co-owner of the NBA team the Boston Celtics and Co-Chairman of Bain Capital, one of the leading investment funds in the world.
“The agreement provides for the entry of the new investors with a 55% total stake in the share capital of La Dea Srl (“La Dea”). The Percassi family will retain a 45% stake. La Dea is the sub-holding of the Percassi family, holder of about 86% of the share capital of Atalanta.
“The Percassi family will remain the single largest shareholder and the governance will reflect an equal partnership: Antonio and Luca Percassi will retain their respective roles of Chairman and CEO of the Club, while Stephen Pagliuca will be appointed Co-Chairman of the Club.”
The statement notes they wish to make Atalanta an even more international club, expanding brand awareness outside of Europe.
“My family and I, have taken this opportunity to partner with a group who shares our vision to continue the growth and success of our team, choosing to remain committed to the Club that over the last ten years has delivered exceptional results, that perhaps no one would have expected from a so called ‘provinciale’” said Antonio Percassi.
“Atalanta, in whose ranks I played in the ’60s, is and will remain in my heart as it is in the heart of thousands of fans who support it. Great challenges await us and my conviction is that the Partnership with such high profile investors will speed up our path of growth.”
Percassi will remain as chairman, his son Luca Percassi as chief executive officer and Italian-American Stephen Pagliuca comes in as co-chairman.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Percassi family and to support the future development of the Club,” said Pagliuca.
“Atalanta and Boston Celtics share the common sports values: teamwork and an extraordinary relationship with the fans and the community. We believe that the Percassi family has built very solid foundations on which to work together to strengthen the brand globally, with the aim of encouraging further diversification and growth of revenues, allowing the club to become more and more competitive on Italian and international scene.”