Seven Serie A clubs put block on €1.7bn CVC deal arguing it undervalues rights

February 18 – Serie A’s €1.7 billion private equity deal for a 10% stake in the league’s newly created media business looks to have been scuppered.

For the deal to be passed at least 14 of the 20 Serie A clubs have to vote in favour. Reuters is reporting that seven clubs are against the deal and a final decision on whether to accept the investment has been postponed

The deal with a consortium including CVC Capital Partners, Advent International and Italian fund FSI, was put together to help clubs over the financial impact of the coronavirus and in particular the loss of ticketing revenue.

In a letter signed by seven clubs (including Lazio, Inter Milan and Juventus) to Serie A president Paolo Dal Pino, and seen by Reuters, the clubs state: “The term sheet submitted to the clubs belonging to the league has not reached a qualified consensus needed for the approval … as things stand, this development opportunity is not viable anymore.”

The clubs argue that the media rights are greater than the private equity valuation and that the future for the league’s media rights – in particular its domestic rights – is considerably greater than originally feared.

Serie A is currently advanced on a tender process for its domestic TV rights for the 2021-2024 seasons and is holding a €850 million offer from DAZN that could rise to over €900 million if rights are split with SKY.

Reuters reported that the clubs in the letter they did not rule out talks with “financial institutions” to increase the League’s business value on international markets. Though any deal with private equity finance for international markets is likely to be significantly less that the €1.7 billion currently on the table.

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