October 14 – Serie A clubs are entering exclusive talks with a private equity fund consortium, led by CVC, for the sale of a stake in the league’s broadcasting media business, league officials announced on Tuesday.
Earlier this year a number private equity funds and venture capital firms expressed interest in investing in the Italian top flight. 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 its commercial development.
CVC’s bid includes the backing of American private equity firm Advent and state-backed fund FSI. The consortium has now emerged as Serie A’ s preferred negotiation partner after a lengthy bidding war between the various interested parties. Reuters reports that 15 out of 20 clubs voted in favour of CVC’s bid, leaving Bain Capital’s bid sidelined.
The CVC-consortium has reportedly offered up to €1.65 billion for a 10% stake in the newly created commercial rights company. The coronavirus pandemic 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.
Serie A’s current broadcast deal will come to an end next season. Investors believe there is room for significant commercial growth, with Serie A’s broadcasting income still significantly lower than in the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga. Serie A generated €1.35 billion per season in its current media rights deal whereas the English top flight banked €3.5 billion per season.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1603223082labto1603223082ofdlr1603223082owedi1603223082sni@o1603223082fni1603223082