Private fund set to acquire majority stake in Brazil's Botafogo

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An investment fund led by American businessman John Textor is poised to buy a controlling stake in two-time Brazilian Serie A champions Botafogo, the Rio de Janeiro outfit said on Friday.

Botafogo said the club agreed in principle to sell 90% of its shares to Eagle Holding, without providing financial details of the operation.

"It is with great satisfaction that we announce this historic milestone," Botafogo president Durcesio Mello said in a statement published on the club's official website.

"A club of our greatness will have a partner of the highest level to invest and create the conditions that allow us to reassume a leading role in Brazilian and world football."

Botafogo said "necessary legal and administrative procedures" would need to be carried out before the deal is confirmed.

Among them will be a vote of the board of directors and members to decide whether to approve a change in the club's articles of association that would allow private ownership.

In August, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed off on a law that paved the way for clubs, which have historically been owned by fans, to be transformed into limited companies.

Cruzeiro became the first club to take advantage of the new law last week when it announced that former Brazil striker Ronaldo had secured a 90% stake in the Belo Horizonte outfit for 400 million reais (around 70 million U.S. dollars).

Friday's announcement marks Textor's second foray into football club ownership in less than six months. In August, the 56-year-old completed the purchase of a stake in English Premier League side Crystal Palace for a reported 87.5 million British pounds.

Once one of Brazil's biggest clubs, Botafogo have fallen on hard times in recent years, having been relegated three times since 2002.

The club will return to the top flight in 2021 after winning this year's Serie B championship.

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