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Carlos Slim becomes largest shareholder in Spanish soccer club

Posted on Nov 19, 12:46PM | IANS

Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim has become the largest shareholder in struggling Spanish soccer club Real Oviedo, providing much-needed funds just ahead of a deadline for raising capital.

Inmobiliaria Carso S.A., a unit of Slim's global conglomerate Grupo Carso, said it invested 2 million euros (USD 2.5 million) in the lower-tier club - founded in 1926 - to keep it afloat.

The club needed to raise 1.9 million euros (USD 2.4 million) by a midnight Saturday deadline.

Minority shareholders - mostly fans from around the world - had already covered the shortfall by raising nearly 2 million euros and Slim's contribution was the finishing touch on rescuing the team from bankruptcy.

"This group, which appreciates the unique and difficult circumstances which Real Oviedo is experiencing, its history within Spanish football, and especially the extraordinary fans who support it, has decided to make a significant and decisive commitment towards this undertaking," Inmobiliaria Carso S.A. said in a statement Saturday.

Forbes magazine said in March that Slim remained the richest person in the world for a third consecutive year in 2011, followed again by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett.

Real Oviedo has played 38 seasons in the Spanish soccer league's first division but, due to its financial woes, has been relegated to lower tiers since 2001.