Serie A postpones new money meeting as venture capitalists refine offers

October 7 – Serie A has once again postponed a meeting to assess bids by private equity funds for a stake in the league’s broadcasting rights as the bidding war between the interested parties intensifies. 

Reuters reports that Bain Capital has ditched a previous equity investment plan and replaced it with a partnership proposal whereas a rival bid led by CVC Capital Partners will maintain its initial offer of acquiring 10% of the media rights company Serie A wants to oversee its broadcast rights.

CVC’s bid also includes the backing of American private equity firm Advent and state-backed fund FSI. In February, CVC were the first to approach Serie A with a €2.2 billion offer to acquire 20% in a new company to manage the league’s broadcasting rights from 2021, the league’s international trademark and the commercial development.

The coronavirus pandemic however has caused economic havoc in the football industry and at many of Italy’s debt-laden clubs the need for economic stability and a cash injection is more vital than ever.

Bain would deliver an upfront payment of €450 million to the clubs and take10% of their annual broadcasting rights revenues for the next 10 years on the condition that the revenues exceed a minimum threshold. However, to sway some clubs and win access to the league’s commercial rights, Bain has also presented two alternative offers though the full detail of their alternative proposals are not clear.

Last summer, Italian clubs slowly progressed discussions on potential venture capital investors, but a meeting to assess various offers has been pushed back from October 9 to October 13. Serie A’s broadcast deal will come to an end next season. Investors believe there is room for significant commercial growth, but some club owners seem reluctant to give up any equity.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1603224650labto1603224650ofdlr1603224650owedi1603224650sni@o1603224650fni1603224650