May 25 – The German Football League (DFL) has walked away from a potential €2 billion of private equity funding for a stake in the Bundesliga’s media rights.
DFL supervisory board chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke said the organisation had fallen short of the two-thirds majority in a vote to allow external investors on board.
Of the 36 professional clubs present in Frankfurt, there were 20 affirmative votes, 11 against, and five abstentions.
The proposal was for the rights to be put into a newco with a price initially put on a 20% stake of $3.6 billion, valuing the company at $18 billion. A revised deal reportedly had a €2 billion offer from private capital for a 12.5% share of the Bundesliga’s media marketing revenue for at least 20 years.
Advent, CVC, and Blackstone had reportedly been contenders to acquire a stake in the business.
Watzke, who also serves as the head of Borussia Dortmund (BVB.DE), remarked: “As of today, this matter is concluded. That is democracy.”
This was the third attempt the DFL had made a pass at the private equity markets but failed to make good on conversations.
European leagues have increasingly explored external funding opportunities through broadcasting agreements to enhance revenue streams.
In 2021, Spain’s La Liga agreed a €2.7b billion deal with CVC. In return, the investment firm received a 10% in a new business that controls most of the league’s commercial activities. France’s Ligue1 raised just €1 billion for a stake in its media rights.
After the English Premier League, the Bundesliga ranks as Europe’s second-largest league in terms of revenue.
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