Serie A closes in on venture capital cash as CVC and Advent pitch a new deal

August 26 – Private equity is a step closer to investing in the Italian top flight with firms CVC Capital Partners and Advent International preparing a joint bid of €1.3 billion for a minority stake in Serie A.

CVC Capital Partners and Advent International, according to the Financial Times, have joined forces to acquire 10% of a new media company that they value at €13 billion and would hold Serie A’s commercial rights. In February, CVC were the first to approach Serie A with a €2.2 billion offer to acquire 15-20% in a new company to manage the league’s broadcasting rights from 2021, the league’s international trademark and the commercial development.

A decision on the bids is expected imminently. Bidders will need support from 14 of the league’s 20 clubs to found a new company, as proposed by the CVC/Advent deal, before requiring 75% of support from the clubs for their offer.

Other private equity groups and venture capital funds have also shown interest in providing financial solutions to the precarious state Italian elite football finds itself in following the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Bain, Advent, Wanda, General Atlantic, Apollo, Fortress and Blackstone’s credit arm GSO have all expressed serious interest in acquiring a stake in Serie A’s commercial business.

Last season, Serie A generated €1.2 billion in broadcasting revenues, but investors believe there is room for significant commercial growth for Italian football. The issue for club owners is how much equity they want to give up.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1601090123labto1601090123ofdlr1601090123owedi1601090123sni@o1601090123fni1601090123