April 16, 2011

SAN JOSE (Reuters) -- Mexican entrepreneur Jorge Vergara has sold Costa Rican first division club Deportivo Saprissa to local conglomerate Horizonte Morado after owning and running it for eight years.

Vergara, owner of Mexico's most popular club Guadalajara and the food supplements company Omnilife, took over Saprissa in 2003 when the club was suffering financially.

During his administration, Saprissa won eight league titles and finished third in the 2005 Club World Cup. They were knocked out in the semi-finals of this year's CONCACAF Champions League this month.

"I want to thank the professionalism and dedication of players, coaching staff and administrative personnel. The successes reaped during our management were also the result of their work and effort," Vergara said in a statement posted on the club's website (www.saprissa.com.cr).

Vergara's Guadalajara, the only top flight club in Mexico with no foreign players in their squad, are on the verge of qualification for the Clausura championship title playoffs. They won their last crown in 2006 and were runners-up last year in the South American Libertadores Cup.

Horizonte Morado is a group made up of five Costa Rican companies including the broadcasting network Teletica.

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