Bundesliga clubs to vote on €500m private equity bidders

May 17 – The German Football League’s (DFL) raising of €500 million from venture capital markets will move into the next phase on Wednesday when club vote on plans that effectively move second round bidders into a final negotiation for a stake in the Bundesliga’s overseas rights.

In March DFL boss Christian Seifert confirmed that the league is offering a 25.1% stake in a new company to handle its media rights in a 25-year deal.

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.

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

Reuters reports that the KKR, Bridgepoint and CVC private equity firms have all progressed to the second round of an auction that could value the Bundesliga’s overseas broadcast rights at €2 billion.

The May 19 vote by clubs will approve the second round bidders with timetable set to close the deal by July.

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.

“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 in March.

“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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