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Advent joins push for stake in Serie A

Advent International has become the latest US investment firm to table an offer for Italian footballs Serie A, according to Bloomberg. This shortly follows interest from CVC Capital Partners and Bain Capital.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that Advent’s offer would value Italy’s top-flight league to be in the region of €13 billion (US$14.6 billion).

The new interest comes after fellow US investment firm Bain Capital was reported to have made a ‘tentative offer’ to buy a 25 per cent stake in Serie A earlier this month.

CVC Capital Partners’ bid was to acquire 20 per cent of a new company for €2.2 billion (US$2.28 billion) that would manage Serie A’s broadcasting rights from 2021, the international trademark, its commercial department and maintenance of stadiums across Italy through a new infrastructure fund. It is believed that CVC have been negotiating in a dedicated window that expires at the end of June, at which point opening up the opportunity for other private equity firms to own the stake.

Earlier this month, Bain Capital was reported to be set to offer €3 billion (US$3.4 billion) for a 25 per cent and see off the Luxembourg based private equity firm.

All of the offers are said to mainly involve the control of the league’s media rights, which are worth around €1.3 billion (US$1.5 billion) annually, based off the existing three-year cycle that will expire at the end of next season (2020/21).

Another US private equity firm, Blackstone, has been reported to be ready to offer the Serie A a €100 million (US$112.6 million) loan to meet its clubs’ short-term needs during the Covid-19 financial downturn. Like other rights-holders, the Serie A is exploring options for obtaining funds to see it through the pandemic.

Following its suspension on March 9, Serie A returned to action to action last weekend and is scheduled to compete its 2019/20 campaign by playing matches on almost a daily basis through to August 2.

Author: James Parker