After months of negotiations, it was announced on Tuesday that Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir has invested in the Major League Soccer club DC United, based in Washington, DC (USA).
"It is a proud day for me," said Thohir. "DC United has a track record for excellence on the field and we look forward to continuing that well into the future."
Thohir, who is also a co-owner of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, co-founded the ASEAN Basketball League in 2009 with AirAsia owner and Group CEO Tony Fernandes.
Among Thohir's many holdings are the Mahaka Group, a media and entertainment conglomerate based in Indonesia. He and Fernandes have also laid the groundwork for ASEAN Sport Ventures, a company dedicated to bringing a variety of sporting experiences to Southeast Asia via tours, sports leagues, and other events.
"One of our goals is to provide access to high level sports entertainment to the region," explains Thohir. "Between [Tony Fernandes] and myself, along with our business contacts and partners, we want Southeast Asia to be recognized as a hub for sports around the world."
Fernandes is well known in the global sports landscape for his stake in the English Premier League soccer team Queens Park Rangers FC and the Formula 1 racing group Caterham F1.
Now three years into the partnership that created the ASEAN Basketball League, Thohir's involvement in DC United and other sports properties around the world only serves to enhance his interests in the ABL.
"The ABL is in a unique position to take advantage of everything Southeast Asia has to offer." Thohir continued, "This league is the model for regional sports now and for the forseeable future, and I'm happy to be part of its progress."
DC United's official press release http://www.dcunited.com/press-release/2012/07/erick-thohir-and-jason-levien-purchase-ownership-stake-in-dc-united.
Photos courtesy of Alam B.