In the process to sell 25% of Benfica SAD's capital, the Chinese group Alibaba was the first foreign investor with whom contacts were made.
Luís Filipe Vieira reportedly put together an operation to sell Benfica “behind everyone’s back”, according to Correio da Manhã. In his efforts, Viera allegedly tried to sell 25% of Benfica SAD’s share capital to the Chinese group Alibaba, an online commerce company.
Jack Ma’s group was the first foreign investor with whom contacts were made for a possible sale, and these contacts were always done with people close to José António dos Santos, a businessman known as the “King of Chickens”. The deal with the Chinese group did not go ahead and two other interested candidates appeared, both North American, and the sale was expected to go ahead with John Textor.
A preliminary share purchase agreement was even made with the businessman John Textor, which stipulated a €50 million payment for 25% of the stake, a deal in which Vieira would receive €6.48 million. During the process, according to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, “Luís Filipe Vieira contributed to this business, not only by maintaining his confidentiality towards Benfica’s shareholders, but also by enticing other shareholders to give their stake to José António dos Santos.”