Tuesday , May 30 2023

German SSE22 becomes majority shareholder at Aalborg BK!

Sports Strategy Excellence 22 (“SSE22”) based in Hamburg will, upon an upcoming share issue, acquire approximately 20 percent of the shares in Aalborg Boldspilklub A/S (“AaB”) against payment of DKK 14,880,000 at a price per share of DKK 44.26.

In addition, current major shareholders, who today represent a total of 74 percent of the share capital and voting rights in AaB (“Current Major Shareholders”), have agreed (i) to issue warrants at a price per share of DKK 44.26 to SSE22 in return for an additional capital contribution of DKK 45,384,000, and (ii) SSE22 is given the opportunity to provide a subordinated loan of DKK 14,136,000, or issue additional warrants at a price per share of DKK 44.26 against payment of an additional DKK 14,136,000. Warrants expire on June 30, 2026 with the possibility of a 1-year extension in case of relegation from the 3F Superliga.

At the same time, new local shareholders have pledged to support AaB with an additional capital injection of DKK 15,000,000 in connection with an upcoming pre-emptive issue, which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2023.

Thus, in connection with the imminent pre-emptive issue, binding capital commitments of DKK 45,030,000 including DKK 15,150,000 in subordinated loan capital have been obtained from the Current Major Shareholders received in December 2022 as Mentioned in stock exchange announcement no. 17/2022 from 19 December 2022. The binding capital commitment totalling DKK 45,030,000 is from the Current Major Shareholders, new local shareholders and SSE22.

The subscription price in connection with the pre-emptive issue and exercise of warrants has been agreed at DKK 44.26. SSE22’s final ownership interest after subscription of shares in the pre-emptive issue and exercise of warrants can only be calculated after the result of the pre-emptive rights issue has been announced.

SSE22 has significant sporting skills and long-term experience from international football. AaB and SSE22 will together further develop the club’s sporting sector, where the AaB Academy will also be at the center. The long-term goal is to create a 3F Superliga team that is permanently part of the top of Danish football. It is also the ambition to develop local talents from the AaB Academy to the 3F Superliga and to international football.

The Board of Directors of AaB and SSE22 agree that AaB’s development must be sustainable and long-term for the benefit of shareholders, fans, sponsors, employees and the many stakeholders who support AaB.

Who is SSE22?

SSE22 is a company headed by Thomas Hitzlsperger, Bernhard Peters, Joachim Hilke, Ole Jan Kappmeier, Finn Meinecke and Jan Peters.

The six Germans have created SSE22 with the aim of investing in and contributing to the development of AaB sportingly and strategically. Upon joining AaB, SSE22 is supported to a lesser extent by partners Dirk Wellen and Florian Kunz.

“We are thrilled and honoured to become part of AaB, which is one of Denmark’s most prominent football clubs with a proud history,” says Thomas Hitzlsperger, partner in SSE22, former managing director of VfB Stuttgart and German international (52 caps).

Thomas Hitzlsperger appeared for Germany at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008, as well as playing in the Bundesliga, Serie A and Premier League.

“During the process, we have had many positive conversations with AaB’s board and are fully in line with the future plans for the club. We would like to thank bTogether we want to work hard to create success again for AaB and the club’s loyal fans.”

Bernhard Peters, former sports and academy director of the football clubs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Hamburger SV and former German national hockey coach – including five World Cup titles, adds, “Our goal is to strengthen AaB through a holistic structure from the grassroots in the AaB Academy up to the Superliga squad. North Jutland and the local community in and around Aalborg is a fantastic area, which will be the basis and core of our sporting ideas. We welcome the opportunities and look forward to working with the club’s management, staff, administration, community and fans to achieve the best for the club.”

Jan Peters, co-founder of SSE22, added, “We are convinced that a holistic approach is the driving force behind sustainable development in a football club. Together with the staff and players in AaB, the city of Aalborg and the region of North Jutland, we will in the coming years try to exploit the club’s full potential through a long-term cooperation.”

In practice, AaB A/S will hold its annual general meeting on April 19, 2023, where AaB’s Board of Directors will nominate Jan Peters and Ole Jan Kappmeier from SSE22 for election.

In addition, the board of directors of AaB A/S will nominate four local representatives, just as AaB’s parent club AaB af 1885 has two seats on the board.

The latter six candidates will, as usual, be mentioned in connection with the convening of the annual general meeting.

At the Annual General Meeting, authorisation to issue the relevant warrants will also be proposed.

All proposals have the support of the Current Major Shareholders, who today make up 74 percent of the share capital and votes in AaB.

In addition, a prospectus will be published in the second quarter of 2023 in order to complete the pre-emptive issue.

Chairman Niels David Nielsen of AaB A/S says, “After a long and thorough process, where the starting point has been AaB’s best in the future, it has been essential for us that our new major shareholder should be able to contribute to moving AaB football professionally. We believe SSE22 can.”

“We look forward to the upcoming collaboration with SSE22 and are also very pleased that the presented model has also met with great support from both existing major shareholders and new significant shareholders from North Jutland. The fact that we have achieved overall support and an advance commitment of DKK 45,030,000 is impressive, and I would like to thank everyone involved for that,” Niels David Nielsen adds.

“Now the work and planning of the future of AaB is really starting, and it is our intention to get the right sports director in place to lead the sporting sector. Likewise, a future advisory board with the participation of people from SSE22 will also be part of the sporting setup in AaB, Niels David Nielsen concludes.

CEO Thomas Bælum of AaB A/S adds, “There is no doubt that successful sportsThe results in a football club are the primary source of value for a sustainable and financially sound club, and therefore it is gratifying that SSE22 has chosen to enter AaB with both capital and sporting skills.”

“With strategy Nordkraften, which was launched in 2019, we at AaB entered a strategy period focusing on strengthening and developing both the sporting and commercial areas. During the strategy period, we managed to create strong progress on all parameters in relation to the commercial sector. Sponsorship revenue has increased, matchday revenues and average attendance have been lifted significantly, and the number of season ticket holders is at a record high,” says Thomas Bælum.

Chairman of AaB af 1885 and board member of AaB A/S Claus Fallingborg said, “The mother club AaB af 1885 has been one of the driving forces in this expansion of the circle of owners. The parent club has been involved in the process all the way, and we believe that the agreement with SSE22 is both exciting and a strengthening of a unified AaB as a club.”

“In addition, it has been extremely important for us that we continue to be a strong club where all our teams are constantly developing. We have also achieved this match with the agreement with SSE22, says Claus Fallingborg.

“We are convinced that the presence and contribution of SSE22 will strengthen the club, as SSE22 brings the sporting skills and networks that we lack today,” adds Claus Fallingborg.

“SSE22 will set a direction, but it is important for me to highlight that AaB af 1885 will be represented in a future advisory board on the sporting strategy,” concludes Claus Fallingborg.

In parallel with SSE22’s investment of resources and competencies in AaB, we have succeeded in gathering even more local forces to support the club and the next strategy period. The local large investor base gathered in 2013 has been expanded from nine to 20 investors. All are people with a business background and a great desire to support AaB and the new model.

From this group of business personalities, Spar Nord Fonden, among others, has pledged to also become a major shareholder in AaB A/S. Spar Nord Fonden has thus decided to enter into ownership of AaB together with a number of new local investors, the new German investor and the existing major shareholders.

“Over the past 30 years, AaB has given the North Jutland a wealth of great experiences with four championships, European group stages and cup finals. At Spar Nord Fonden, we believe that the expanded local ownership group together with the new German investor can strengthen not only AaB, but also the community around football throughout North Jutland with AaB’s more than 100 partner clubs, says Chairman of the Board of Spar Nord Fonden Michael Slavensky Dahl.

According to Michael Slavensky Dahl, it is natural to also support AaB at a time when the club needs both local and international forces to improve its current position.

“At Spar Nord Fonden, we are optimistic about AaB’s future with the forces and competencies that the German co-owners bring. It helps to strengthen the great unity in North Jutland, Aalborg and AaB, it concludes.

The coming period

SSE22 and AaB will now jointly develop the sporting strategy. A strategy that will also include a plan for the development of AaB’s training facilities in collaboration with the parent club AaB af 1885 with a view to a comprehensive modernization of the physical facilities at the facility on Hornevej and the establishment and renovation of training grounds.

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