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Serie A clubs to block private equity sale

Seven Lega Serie A clubs have claimed to be opposed to the sale of a stake in the league's media rights business to a private equity consortium, putting at risk the €1.7 billion deal.

Serie A clubs to block private equity sale

The Italian top flight league agreed last year to enter exclusive talks with the private equity consortium, led by CVC Capital Partners, alongside Advent International and Italian fund FSI, who offered €1.7 billion for a 10 per cent stake in the newly formed media rights business.

The deal had been approved after achieving the required 14 out of the 20 clubs' votes in favour, however, a rejection from seven clubs, which is thought to include Italian giants Juventus, could halt the deal from progressing.

It is thought that the Lega Serie A had explored and entertained bids from the private equity sector to boost revenues for clubs who had suffered significant financial implications, caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” read a letter from seven clubs, including SS Lazio and Inter Milan, addressed to the league’s President Paolo Dal Pino and seen by Reuters.

The fresh opposition from the seven clubs appears to have been ignited by a better than expected response to a tender to award Serie A's domestic TV rights.

According to reports, streaming service DAZN is said to be leading the race for the league's rights, taking over from long-standing pay-TV player Sky, with an offer of €850 million per season.

Serie A are said to be interested in raising that to €900 million per season by combining DAZN's offer with Sky.

Author: Jake Wilkin