Sponsor payout

Bayer Leverkusen’s Own Goal

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Bayer Leverkusen had a long-running deal with now bust Teldafax.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The repayment demand comes at a time when Bayer Leverkusen is facing lost soccer revenues and expensive player layoffs.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Bayer 04 Leverkusen was founded in 1904 and plays in Germany’s top-flight Bundesliga league.
    • Energy provider Teldafax was Bayer’s sponsor up until 2011, when it went bankrupt.
    • According to German law, once a company sees a business partner is headed for bankruptcy, it must return any payments received after that point.
  • Audio

    Audio

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The loyalty shown by soccer club Bayer 04 Leverkusen to its sponsor Teldafax has proven to be very costly. The top-flight team is being forced to pay €13 million to the bankrupt energy company’s insolvency administrator after being caught out by a law that states it should have seen the bankruptcy coming, sources have told Handelsblatt.

The Teldafax insolvency in 2011, which Handelsblatt helped to uncover in 2010, was one of the biggest in Germany. The largest provider of cheap energy in Germany was effectively run as a Ponzi scheme and left €500 million ($573 million) in debts in 2011. The German government has already paid out €100 million in compensation for failing to identify the insolvency earlier.

The firm’s insolvency administrator, Biner Bähr, has been determined to get back money for clients who lost it and the soccer club has now become one of the victims as a result of Germany’s insolvency law.

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