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Borussia Dortmund secures major investment from Evonik

Chemicals company Evonik Industries has signed an 11-year extension to its shirt sponsorship deal with Borussia Dortmund and has also agreed to acquire a minority stake in the German Bundesliga football club.

Evonik, which is headquartered in Dortmund’s home market of North Rhine-Westphalia, will now have its brand positioned on the front of the club’s shirt through June 2025. The agreement marks the fourth extension of a partnership that first commenced in 2006.

In addition, and in order to underpin the sponsorship, Evonik will be taking a direct stake in Borussia Dortmund GmbH & KGaA through a planned capital increase by acquiring 9.06 per cent of the club’s capital stock for €26.7m ($36.3m).

Dortmund is Germany’s only listed football club after going public in 2000 and plans to use the proceeds to strengthen its equity base. The club has been seeking fresh investment, with Deutsche Bank having previously considered acquiring a stake, and added that it may welcome further partners.

Commenting on the Evonik deal, Dortmund chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke said: “Through our recent success in the (Uefa) Champions League, BVB has the ability to help drive the success of Evonik's international brand-building process. In future we will have a presence in Asia – where Evonik has been present for many years – and will be building up a BVB representative office in the region. At the same time, the new sponsorship agreement and Evonik’s stake in BVB mean we will be consistently able to field top players both in Germany and abroad.”

Klaus Engel, chairman of Evonik’s executive board, added: “We are forging an alliance of strength between two partners in Germany's Ruhr region that both stand to benefit from a deal that promises strong international appeal. Going forward, we want to build on the rising awareness and empathy with the Evonik brand internationally – in partnership with BVB. That enables us to reach key target groups such as customers, specialists and investors in many countries even more effectively through BVB.”

Dortmund finished as runner-up to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga last season, exiting the Champions League at the quarter-final stage to eventual winner Real Madrid.