Klaus-Michael Kühne has once again talked about HSV. His Hamburg hobby, that's roughly how he sees it. In an interview in the March issue of "Manager Magazin", he confirmed that he wanted to invest millions more in the second division. "I'm willing to stake a large amount again, up to 120 million euros. But then HSV has to restructure, then the committees have to be filled differently," said the 85-year-old billionaire. With a new legal form you can increase the capital. "That is not possible today. The club is not ready for that," he said.
Since 2014, the professional football division of HSV has been spun off into a stock corporation. According to the articles of association, the association holds 75.1 percent of the AG. Kühne owns 15.1 percent of the shares. The former CFO and medical entrepreneur Thomas Wüstefeld owns just over five percent, which he acquired from Kühne in 2021. The remaining shares are distributed among four small shareholders.
The association is currently examining a change in the legal form from an AG to a partnership limited by shares (KGaA). As Vice President Michael Papenfuss explained at the HSV general meeting in January, the advantage lies in the fact that more shares can be sold and the club still retains sole control.
Kuehne doesn't like that. In terms of the legal form, the shareholders have almost no rights, criticized the Hamburger, who lives in Switzerland. “Unfortunately, club president Marcell Jansen is against me; but there are two factions right now," he continued, adding, "The battle is not over yet."
Last August, Kühne made his offer of 120 million euros public through his Holding AG and described his conditions and claims in a "10-point program for the restructuring of the traditional Hamburg club". In the fan scene there was protest against the investor. The offer was also viewed critically within the club. And Jansen also reacted to the offer cautiously to negatively.
The publication of the interview comes shortly before the meeting with Jansen and the shareholders on Friday, which has been declared a peace summit. The meeting is about, among other things, the composition of the Supervisory Board, which actually consists of seven people. At the last AG general meeting on February 2, there was no agreement among the shareholders.
After the departure of the controversial Detlef Dinsel, whose mandate ended with the meeting, there are only five controllers and one controller in Lena Schrum on the council. Jansen (37) had campaigned for Dinsel and no longer wants Schrum on the committee. After criticism from several sides - especially from the fan scene, but also from the shareholder circle - Dinsel has meanwhile declared that he will not apply.
In the interview, Kühne once again pointed out that his investment at HSV is not exactly successful. "I'll say it quite frankly: Overall, it was a flop," he said. “I got carried away as a football fan; it started with securing certain players for HSV. Then I bought 20 percent of the shares for 60 million euros. I gave back 5 percent; almost at the entry-level price.” The rest of the 100 million were loans. "We wrote them off."
"One needs some hobby", he said as a reason for his investment in the traditional club. “I watch every game on TV and I tremble. And I hope, like many others, that one day we will make it up the ladder. I would also help again.”
Most recently, he had given money to modernize the Volksparkstadion in view of the EM 2024. “The chief financial officer asked me if I could help. The matter is urgent, the EM is already next year. And then I let myself be beaten,” explained Kühne. The conditions are fair. “You need a total of 20 to 25 million euros. I gave 10 million as a loan with the possibility of converting the money into capital when structural reform comes,” he stressed. And the club can pay back at four percent interest, "that's moderate," said Kühne: "I don't want to do any business; I want to help."