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David and Victoria Beckham split from business partner Simon Fuller

The Guardian logo The Guardian 10/05/2019 Sarah Butler
David Beckham, Victoria Beckham are posing for a picture: David and Victoria Beckham. © Getty Images David and Victoria Beckham.

David and Victoria Beckham have bought out their business partner Simon Fuller’s 33% stake in the former England footballer’s businesses for about $50m (£38m).

The deal gives the Beckhams full control of Beckham Brand Holdings, which includes a stake in the US-based football club Inter Miami FC as well as the Seven Global and David Beckham Ventures businesses, which handle his brand name and partnerships with businesses including Adidas and L’Oreal.

Football star David Beckham arriving at Bromley Magistrates Court in south east London for a hearing after he was spotted using his mobile phone while driving his Bentley in London's West End. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images Football star David Beckham arriving at Bromley Magistrates Court in south east London for a hearing after he was spotted using his mobile phone while driving his Bentley in London's West End. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)

Fuller’s XIX Entertainment group will continue to own a stake in Victoria Beckham’s fashion empire, which raised £30m in 2017 to fund expansion from NEO Investment Partners. NEO is also a backer of British designer Tom Dixon and French bakery Paul.

The buyout comes after profits at the couple’s Beckham Brand Holdings dropped 20% to £15.7m in 2017, according to the latest publicly available accounts.

Profits were pulled down by losses at Victoria Beckham’s fashion empire. However, the couple’s main company paid out £19m in dividends to its shareholders – the Beckhams and Fuller – up from £10.2m in 2016.

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It is understood that David Beckham has exercised an option to buy out Fuller, who is the former Spice Girls manager and Pop Idol founder, because the former footballer wants to focus on building his US soccer team, which is scheduled to enter the American MLS league in 2020.

David Beckham also recently bought a small stake in the British football team Salford City alongside former Manchester United teammates including Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Victoria Beckham leaves her hotel on May 9, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Adrian Edwards/GC Images) © 2019 Adrian Edwards NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Victoria Beckham leaves her hotel on May 9, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Adrian Edwards/GC Images) He has spent more time managing his own brand relationships since retiring as a player six years ago. The fashion fan, who has a stake in menswear label Kent & Curwen, has said he wants to start owning and building businesses.

The British Fashion Council has signed him up as an ambassador in the hope of attracting a new generation of domestic creative and business talent into the industry. The job was seen as part of an attempt to rebuild Beckham’s public reputation after a furore in 2017 relating to leaked emails in which he appeared to bemoan not having been given a knighthood.

The Beckhams became dollar billionaires last month thanks to a string of lucrative corporate tie-ups, which have ranged from watches and perfume to whisky and underpants.

David Beckham, left, and his wife Victoria Beckham arrive for the UEFA Champions League draw at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) © ASSOCIATED PRESS David Beckham, left, and his wife Victoria Beckham arrive for the UEFA Champions League draw at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) Their brand empire has also extended to include the couple’s four children, Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruise and Harper all of whom have a media profile. At 20 years old, eldest son Brooklyn is a model and photographer worth £6.5m, according to the Sunday Times rich list, and with an Instagram following of 11.5m.

While Beckham Brand Holdings was only formed in 2014, Fuller has been central to building the Beckham brand since the couple met.

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