Socccer-Tycoon Slim invests in troubled Spanish team Real Oviedo

MEXICO CITY Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:46pm EST

MEXICO CITY Nov 17 (Reuters) - The world's richest man, Carlos Slim, is set to become the top shareholder in troubled Spanish soccer team Real Oviedo after investing 2 million euros ($2.4 million) in the club, his third known sports acquisition since September.

Real Oviedo, once a top soccer team, has gradually lost its luster amid deep financial and labor troubles. It last played in the top flight in 2001 and it is now down in the regional Segunda B (third tier) and are currently fourth, five points behind leaders Tenerife.

Many individual investors have responded to the club's appeal for cash in recent weeks. Real Madrid club invested earlier this month some $127,100 to help its Asturian rival keep afloat.

"We are at around 35 percent (stake) which makes us, by far, the top holder," Slim's spokesman and chief aide Arturo Elias Ayub told Reuters on Saturday.

He said additional investments in the Spanish team were being received until midnight Saturday.

The investment in the Real Oviedo was made via Slim's privately held Inmobiliaria Carso.

The team "has a lot of qualities, has an impressive history, a strong following," Elias Ayub added. "More than a business investment, it was a personal investment (for Slim), a support to the team's fans."

Slim, who owns telecommunications, infrastructure, retail, mining and banking businesses, tapped the sports world in September after his mobile phone giant, America Movil , bought a 30 percent stake in the Leon and Pachuca clubs in Mexico's first division for an undisclosed amount.