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FC Basel and UBS: Happy end to a successful partnership
UBS hands over its majority stake in FC Basel Marketing AG to a new owner
Swiss Bank Corporation, one of UBS's predecessor banks, first established sponsorship ties with FC Basel back in 1990. In 1997 the bank founded FC Basel Marketing AG, which, in partnership with other companies from the Basel region, aimed to provide Basel's premier club with greater funding and support. UBS published a joint media release with FC Basel in September 1999, confirming the continuation of the original sponsorship agreement until the time FCB moved back into the rebuilt St. Jakob Park football stadium.
UBS has now terminated its involvement as main shareholder of FC Basel Marketing AG, as originally agreed in September 1999, and has transferred its equity holding to Gigi Oeri. It is particularly reassuring to know that Ms Oeri's long-standing relationship with FC Basel means that the shares will remain in safe hands, thereby ensuring sustained support for the club. Now that Ms. Oeri has acquired the majority stake, both Hanspeter Weisshaupt and Mario Cueni will resign their posts as UBS representatives on the Board of Directors of FC Basel Marketing AG.
When originally guaranteeing financial assistance back in 1999, UBS's aim was: "to provide FC Basel with additional financial resources to enable it to become a major force in Swiss football by the time the new St. Jakob Park is completed in 2001". UBS injected a figure in the low double-digit millions in the period from 1999 to 2002 to relieve FC Basel's accumulated deficits. As in the previous three seasons, UBS covered FCB's financial deficit during 2001/2002.
In the 1½ years since returning to the new stadium, FC Basel have scored an unprecedented series of successes on the pitch, while their fans have given spontaneous and unanimous approval to the new venue. FCB won the Swiss League title for the first time in 20 years again, before adding the Swiss Cup to complete their first League-and-Cup double in 30 years. To round it off, they recently became only second Swiss club ever to qualify for the Champions League, Europe's premier club competition. FC Basel have consequently achieved their goal of financial autonomy.
UBS is delighted that in Gigi Oeri it has found a truly local figure to support FC Basel for the long term, and is justifiably proud of the club and its achievements.
Zurich / Basel, 16 September 2002