Lawyer Jorge Mattamouros, who last year filed a lawsuit to try to remove the president of Benfica, Luís Filipe Vieira, returned to the charge. But this time as an investor in Benfica SAD, and to point the finger at what he says is a conflict of interest involving the executive president (CEO) of Benfica SAD, Domingos Soares Oliveira.
Jorge Mattamouros sent a letter to the CEO of Benfica SAD and to the Securities Market Commission (CMVM) warning that the prospectus of the bond loan in progress, in which Benfica SAD wants to raise 40 million euros, omits some conflicts of interest, which are risks for Benfica’s listed company.
“The information contained in the prospectus must be “complete, true, current, clear and objective”. In my opinion, the information to investors in the transcribed excerpt does not meet these requirements with regard to your person, as I understand that you are in conflict of interest situation that must be explained to the market and remedied”, says the letter from Jorge Mattamouros addressed to Domingos Soares de Oliveira, to which the Express had access.
The excerpt in question is the passage from the bond loan prospectus which states that “to the best of Benfica SAD’s knowledge, there are no potential conflicts of interest between the obligations of any of the persons who form part of the issuer’s management and supervisory bodies and their private interests or other obligations”.
The letter, addressed to the CEO of Benfica SAD, Domingos Soares de Oliveira, takes on a critical tone. “The situation of conflict of interest, or potential conflict of interest, between Benfica SAD and a director, in particular its Chief Executive Officer, is an effective risk of which the market must be informed, as it can have a relevant impact on the financial and sporting position of society”, writes Jorge Mattamouros in the letter.
The lawyer warns that not only a director with a conflict of interest “may make decisions that favor “private interests or other obligations” to the detriment of the interest of society and the obligations of good management to which he is bound”, but also Benfica SAD can be exposed to “possible liability to investors or regulatory sanctions for providing wrong or incomplete information to the market”.
“To avoid the materialization of these risks to the detriment of Benfica SAD and its investors, I hereby, as a shareholder and underwriter of bonds, ask you for additional information that clarifies the (apparent) conflict of interest in which you find yourself” , says Jorge Mattamouros.
One of the main points highlighted by the lawyer, who has been a partner at Benfica for 28 years, but a shareholder in SAD only since the beginning of this month, concerns the fact that Domingos Soares de Oliveira integrates the administration of Liga Centralizaçãoa company created by the Portuguese Professional Football League with the objective of centralizing the television rights of the clubs.
Jorge Mattamouros asks how is it possible Domingos Soares de Oliveira at the same time defend the interests of Benfica, as CEO of the “eagles”, and the economic interests of the League and of clubs opposing Benficaas manager of Liga Centralização.
“How are you, as CEO, able to maximize the “negotiation capacity of Benfica SAD vis-à-vis the entities to which the rights of exploitation are assigned” television, at the same time that you are administrator and “coordinate” Liga Centralização, precisely the entity whose object is to commercialize and exploit these television rights on behalf and in the interest of all clubs, including Benfica’s rivals?”, asks the lawyer.
Mattamouros even suggests that Soares de Oliveira leave Benfica.
“You are one of the best paid managers in the national market, including companies listed on the stock exchange, with a salary, bonuses and benefits of more than half a million euros paid by Benfica SAD, in exchange for your competence and absolute loyalty”, notes the lawyer. .
Jorge Mattamouros underlines that “these are values that the vast majority of the real shareholders of Benfica SAD, the members of Sport Lisboa Benfica, and the retail investors who today trust the information contained in the prospectus, never dream of reaching someday for their income from work. “.
“If, as has been reported, you consider to assume exclusively the role of maximum responsible for the marketing of the joint revenue of all Portuguese football, on behalf of the League, you naturally have the legitimacy to choose this new path for your career. In that case, however, it must inform the shareholders and the regulator and act accordingly, leaving Benfica SAD”, reads the same letter.
Jorge Mattamouros also warns of a potential conflict of interest due to the Red Card process and the fact that Benfica SAD chose not to be an assistant in this process, which led to the arrest of former Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira, whose his right arm, for many years, Domingos Soares de Oliveira. In this regard, Benfica SAD says that the audit is not expected to be completed before the end of this year.
“I admit that the conclusions of the work in progress do not identify reprehensible conduct of the administrator Domingos Soares de Oliveira. But for the protection of all stakeholders, in particular the interest of Benfica, the administrator subject to the audit cannot also be part of the executive team that monitors or supervises the work”criticizes Jorge Mattamouros.
To the Express Jorge Mattamouros explained that he went ahead with this initiative alone, without prior contact with other shareholders of SAD, and considers that this does not weaken his performance.
“I don’t care about writing this letter individually. On the contrary, when we defend principles and values, which is right, it doesn’t matter how many there are. Besides, I remember well that when I filed a lawsuit against the previous president, I was also alone, and see how it evolved”, said Jorge Mattamouros to Express.
You can read Jorge Mattamouros’ letter to the CEO of Benfica SAD and the CMVM in full here.