* Dortmund follows Bayern Munich in seeking corporate
* Evonik extends shirt sponsorship agreement to 2025
* Dortmund says more strategic partnerships could follow
* Club to shop for "top players", to open Asia office
(Adds financial details, background on corporate backing of
FRANKFURT, June 27 German first-division soccer
club Borussia Dortmund is taking a 26.7 million euro
($36.3 million) capital injection from its shirt sponsor,
chemicals maker Evonik, who will get a 9.06 percent
stake in the club in return.
Borussia Dortmund, the only listed German soccer club, plans
to use the proceeds in the player transfer market, strengthen
its equity base and open a representative office in Asia.
Dortmund, also known as BVB, extended its main sponsor
agreement with Evonik to the 2024/2025 Bundesliga season. The
current contract would have expired in 2016.
"The new sponsorship agreement and Evonik's stake in BVB
mean we will be consistently able to field top players both in
Germany and abroad," Dortmund Managing Director Hans-Joachim
Watzke said in a statement.
Germany's largest lender Deutsche Bank earlier
this month said it had considered taking a stake in the club but
decided against it.
Evonik, a maker of high-tech plastics, feed additives and
clear acrylic sheet, started sponsoring the soccer club in 2006
to boost public awareness of the Evonik brand, which it
introduced in 2007. Its previous businesses were known as
Degussa and RAG.
New shares are being issued to Evonik at 4.37 euros apiece,
a 5 percent discount over the average closing price over the
last five trading days, Dortmund said. The shares traded 1.6
percent lower at 4.45 euros at 1105 GMT.
The club from Germany's rust belt Ruhr valley region, is
seen as the only one remotely able currently to pose a threat to
Bayern Munich's dominance in German professional football.
Dortmund, Bundesliga champion in 2011 and 2012, finished
second behind Bayern Munich in Germany's top league this season
and also lost to Bayern in the cup final.
Dortmund is taking a page from rival Bayern's playbook in
seeking more corporate backing.
In February insurer Allianz took an 8.33 percent stake in
Bayern Munich for 110 million euros, joining sportswear maker
Adidas and car maker Audi as minority
The deal gave unlisted Bayern an implied valuation of 1.32
billion euros, more than four times Dortmund's current market
value of 278 million euros, or close to 300 million when taking
Evonik's capital injection into account.
Dortmund signalled there may be more projects to be funded
by new investors.
"The Executive Board will continue its exploratory
discussions with companies that have an interest in a strategic
partnership," the club said.
($1 = 0.7359 Euros)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Edward Taylor and