DFL advances private equity talks on 25% stake in media newco

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March 31 – German Football League (DFL) boss Christian Seifert has confirmed that the league is offering a 25.1% stake in a new company to handles its media rights in a 25-year deal.

Speaking to Frankfurter Allgemeine, Seifert (pictured) confirmed a prospectus had been send to 30 private equity firms and that the DFL is seeking to create two new subsidiaries – a ‘MediaCo’ division to sell Bundesliga’s media rights internationally, and a ‘DigitalCo’ to market the DFL’s esports competitions.

The DFL generates €1.1 billion a season from domestic TV rights and about €180 million from international broadcast markets, and crucially where it feels it is missing an opportunity. The Premier League earns about €1.5 billion and La Liga about €897 million from international media sales. The Bundesliga is reportedly looking for a €300 million for a stake in its international sales business.

Part of that new business could be the creation of an OTT streaming platform.

Japanese financial services company Nomura have been hired to handle the tender and as many as 30 bidders could enter the race, with Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners, General Atlantic, KKR & Co, Advent International and BC Partners having previously been cited as interested parties. The forst expressions of interest ae expected to conclude within six weeks.

“The construction (of the new company) essentially envisages a new company that will receive the license to exploit international media rights and global marketing rights for 25 years,” Seifert told Frankfurter Allgemeine.

“This underlines the solid long-term investment approach, which offers both clubs and investors security when entering and also when exiting. Private equity firms are usually partners on a temporary basis, and under our model an exit is possible after a few years without any problems.”

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