Lawyer Jorge Mattamouros, who last year filed a lawsuit to try to remove Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira, has returned to the charge. But this time as an investor of Benfica SAD, and to point the finger at what he says is a conflict of interest involving the Executive Chairman (CEO) of Benfica SAD, Domingos Soares Oliveira.
Jorge Mattamouros has sent a letter to the CEO of Benfica SAD and the Securities Market Commission (CMVM) warning that the prospectus for the current bond issue, in which Benfica SAD wants to raise 40 million euros, omits certain conflicts interests, which are risks for Benfica’s listed company.
“The information contained in the prospectus must be “complete, truthful, current, clear and objective”. In my opinion, the information for investors contained in the transcribed extract does not meet these requirements with regard to your person, because I understand that you are in a situation of conflict of interest which must be explained to the market and corrected”, indicates the letter of Jorge Mattamouros addressed to Domingos Soares de Oliveira, to which the To express had access.
The extract in question is the passage from the prospectus for the bond issue which states that “to the knowledge of Benfica SAD, there is no potential conflict of interest between the obligations of any of the persons forming part of the management and supervisory bodies of the issuer and their private interests or other obligations”.
The letter, addressed to Benfica SAD CEO 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 managing director, constitutes an effective risk of which the market must be informed, because it can have a significant impact on the financial and sporting situation of the company,” writes Jorge Mattamouros in the letter.
The lawyer warns that not only a director in conflict of interest “can make decisions that favor” private interests or other obligations “to the detriment of the interest of the company and the obligations of good management to which he is bound “, but also Benfica SAD may be exposed to “possible liability to investors or regulatory sanctions for providing incorrect or incomplete information to the market”.
“To avoid the materialization of these risks to the detriment of Benfica SAD and its investors, I ask you, as a shareholder and bond subscriber, for additional information clarifying the (apparent) conflict of interest in which you find yourself. “, says Jorge Mattamouros.
One of the main points put forward by the lawyer, a partner of Benfica for 28 years, but a shareholder of SAD only since the beginning of this month, concerns the fact that Domingos Soares de Oliveira joins the administration of La Liga Centralizaçãoa company created by the Portuguese Professional Football League with the aim of centralizing the television rights of the clubs.
asks Jorge Mattamouros how is it possible that Domingos Soares de Oliveira defends at the same time the interests of Benfica, as CEO of the “eagles”, and the economic interests of the League and the clubs opposed to Benficaas manager of La Liga Centralização.
“How are you, as CEO, able to maximize Benfica SAD’s ‘negotiating capacity vis-à-vis the entities to which the exploitation rights are granted’ for television, at the same time as you are an administrator and “coordinate” Liga Centralização, precisely the entity whose object is to market and exploit these television rights in the name and in the interest of all clubs, including Benfica’s rivals?” asks the lawyer .
Mattamouros even suggests that Soares de Oliveira leaves Benfica.
“You are one of the highest paid managers in the national market, including listed companies, with a salary, bonuses and benefits of more than half a million euros paid by Benfica SAD, in exchange of your competence and your absolute loyalty”, notes the lawyer.
Jorge Mattamouros points out that “these are values that the vast majority of real shareholders of Benfica SAD, members of Sport Lisboa Benfica and individual investors who today trust the information contained in the prospectus, never dream of achieving a day for their work income.
“If, as has been reported, you plan to assume exclusively the role of maximum responsible for the commercialization of the common revenues of all Portuguese football, on behalf of the League, you naturally have the legitimacy to choose this new path for your career. In this case, however, he 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 the former president of Benfica Luís Filipe Vieira, whose right arm, for many years, Domingos Soares de Oliveira. In this regard, Benfica SAD indicates that the audit should not be completed before the end of this year.
“I admit that the conclusions of the work in progress do not identify any reprehensible conduct by the administrator Domingos Soares de Oliveira. But for the protection of all stakeholders, in particular the interest of Benfica, the director subject to the audit cannot also be part of the management team that monitors or supervises the work”critic Jorge Mattamouros.
At To express Jorge Mattamouros explained that he had carried out this initiative alone, without prior contact with the other shareholders of SAD, and considers that this does not weaken his performance.
“I don’t care if I write this letter individually. On the contrary, when you defend principles and values, which is right, no matter how many there are. Besides, I remember well that when I brought legal action against the previous president, I was also alone, and see how it evolved,” Jorge Mattamouros told To express.
You can read Jorge Mattamouros’ letter to Benfica SAD CEO and CMVM in full here.