Ambitious DUTCH Principion takes majority stake in Fortuna

Principion Holding B.V. becomes the major shareholder of Fortuna. The Dutch holding company – founded by Atilla Aytekin and Umut Akpinar – is taking over a new share package from chairman Isitan Gün, bringing the share package to a total of 65 percent. The acquisition is currently being approved by the KNVB’s licensing committee.

 

The Amsterdam based company has been associated with the Eredivisionist for over a year. In May 2021, before the match against Vitesse, Principion was presented as the new co-owner of Fortuna. A collaboration which felt really positive from the start and therefore we were enthusiastic to start the process of taking a majority stake. After completion of the process, the shares will be held by Principion Holding (65%), Isitan Gün (20%), Stichting Fortuna Sittard (10%) and STAK (5%, including the golden share).

 

Gün -who will remain closely involved with the club- about the upcoming takeover: “This is a great milestone in Fortuna’s already rich history. We joined Fortuna six years ago to show that sometimes you have to think outside the box to become successful. This has brought us a lot over the years, with memories such as promotion to the Eredivisie and the fifth season at the highest level. We want to continue this process, but on a different scale. To realize this, further involvement of Principion is crucial. This gives us the strength, also financially, to take those steps.”

FUTURE PLANS

As an holding company, Principion focuses, among other things, on companies in the sports world. The company is led by entrepreneurs Aytekin and Akpinar, who are also co-CEOs and co-owners of the listed game and media technology giant Azerion. With an innovative approach they want to create value for sports organizations within their network, including Fortuna. The ambitions are high.

From the first moment, Principion has identified three pillars for a strategic focus: the men’s first squad, the new women squad and the youth academy. For the 2022/2023 season, significant investments were made in Fortuna 1, while a competitive and Eredivisie-worthy women squad was established during the same period. There has also been more focus on strengthening and developing the youth teams and academy.

Principion already owned 20% of the shares. “We have been able to get used to each other over the past year. That went really well,” says Aytekin. “We strongly believe in the multi-year plan that we have drawn up, there are enormous possibilities. Fortuna is a club with potential. However, sometimes you have to approach it in a different way to progress. By taking a majority stake, we can implement things that contribute to this more quickly.”

Aytekin goes deeper into the future plans. “Fortuna has made great steps in recent years. We want to make even bigger steps in the coming years by making targeted investments. We want to grow to the budget of a sub-topper in the Netherlands. In addition, we want, for example, to tap into new revenue streams and to renew and improve the various facilities of the club. We also want to build a state-of-the-art training complex. Everything must be aimed at getting the most out of this beautiful club, in all facets. This also includes an important role for the fans, who we want to involve closely in the club. A concrete example of this is the new Fortuna app, where the focus is on engagement with the supporters. We hope we can launch the app in the near future, making Fortuna the first club to have this new app for supporters.”

Principle Holding

In recent months, several people have spoken out about the interesting project, which is being worked on in the background. Aytekin: “The project is more extensive than just Fortuna, although Fortuna is our flagship. The intention is to invest in clubs and companies in sportdata and -technology, whereby the clubs benefit from this joint knowledge and experience. These clubs should reinforce and help each other. In the coming period, more and more will become known about this, so that we are all equally enthusiastic about the future of this beautiful club.”

SUPPORTER QUESTIONS

All parties involved are extremely enthusiastic about the ambitious plans for the future. In order to convince you of the next steps, Atilla Aytekin will join us in the short term to talk with enthusiasm about the ambitions and to answer supporters’ questions. This item will soon be available to listen to in podcast format and on the official YouTube channel. Do you have a burning question? Let us know using this form.