Audi buys stake in Bayern Munich

BERLIN - German car maker Audi has bought a 9.09 percent stake in Bayern Munich in a deal worth 90 million euros, the club said on Thursday.

Volkswagen's premium brand Audi, with headquarters in the Bavarian town of Ingolstadt north of Munich, has been a partner of the Bundesliga club since 2002 as exclusive car sponsor.

"With the direct financial participation in the club, the two successful premium brands move even closer," said Audi board chairman Rupert Stadler.

"But apart from the financial engagement there are plans in progress to strengthen the global presence of both brands in the form of grassroots development in globally organised soccer schools," he said in a statement.

Bayern, the country's richest and most successful club having won a record number of domestic championships, is also the sole owner of the 69,000-capacity Allianz Arena.

The club has also lifted the European Cup four times.