The Irish firm controlled by super agent Jorge Mendes has paid out a whopping €80m

Mendes represents soccer stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho.

By Paul O'Donoghue

AN IRISH-BASED company controlled by soccer super agent Jorge Mendes has paid out a whopping €80 million in dividends since its establishment.

Mendes, who represents Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, is widely recognised as soccer’s most influential agent. He does much of his business through GestiFute, a Portuguese company he founded.

The Irish arm of that firm, GestiFute International Limited, is one of a series of Irish-based special purpose firms established by Mendes. The company, which has an address in Dublin, was incorporated in the middle of 2004.

According to all of the accounts filed for the firm, which stretch back to 2006, the business has paid out a total of €79.8 million in dividends to its shareholders. GestiFute International Limited is owned by a firm called Start SGPS SA.

According to GestiFute’s website, Start SGPS SA is the holding company used by Mendes for all of his sports-related business dealings.

Big profits

Mendes has been involved in some of the largest deals ever, such as Di Maria’s move from Real Madrid to Manchester United for £60 million in 2014 and Ronaldo’s switch from Manchester United to Real Madrid for £80 million in 2009.

During this time, GestiFute International Limited has consistently racked up huge profits, much of which has been extracted from the firm in the form of dividends.

While the company has been consistently making millions of euro in profits since 2006, it had a major jump in income in the last four years or so.

Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The company recorded a profit of €5.6 million in 2012, which spiked by more than 50% to over €9 million the following year.

In 2014 GestiFute International reported a profit of €10 million and paid out a dividend of €6.5 million. In 2015 this rose to a profit of €18 million and a dividend of €12 million.

Most recently the company reported the highest profits, €23 million, and paid out the biggest dividend, €20 million, in its history.

GestiFute International is just one of several Irish vehicles connected to Mendes and GestiFute.

Other Irish companies

Other companies linked to Mendes and based in Dublin, including Polaris Sports and MultiSports Image & Management, drew some attention following a Spanish investigation into tax avoidance strategies.

Earlier this year Spanish newspaper El Confidencial published a document that appeared to show a 2012 deal between Dublin company Multisports Image Management (MIM) and a Saudi mobile phone company, Mobily.

Several football stars, including Ronaldo, have been accused of using Mendes’s Irish companies to minimise the taxes that they are liable to pay on some of their earnings.

GestiFute has hit back at these claims and said in a statement in December that the stars it represents are fully compliant with their tax obligations.

However, many of the agency’s star clients, including Ronaldo and Di Maria, have been taken to court following the investigations.

In June Di Maria, who used Dublin companies Polaris Sports and MIM to help handle his image rights, pleaded guilty to tax fraud in Spain.

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