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Serie A votes in favour of CVC-led Consortium

The Italian Lega Serie A has voted in favour of an external investment from CVC Capital Partners and Advent International.

The summer-long saga looks to finally be reaching its conclusion, after Italian top flight clubs backed CVC Capital Partners and Advents joint bid, in a deal worth €1.6 billion.

The two private equity firms had originally sent rival bids to secure the broadcasting and media rights for the league but teamed up in August, in a move that proved to be successful in obtaining the deal.

The successful bidders will now work with Fondo FSI to obtain the 10 per cent stake in the new company managing Serie A’s broadcasting rights.

15 Serie A member clubs voted in favour, with five clubs abstaining from the vote, thought to be Napoli, Lazio, Atalanta, Verona and Udinese. Nobody voted for the rival bid from Bain, who according to Bloomberg, put in an improved last-minute offer of €1.6 billion for 15 per cent but this was not enough to swing the votes in their favour.

Reportedly, there was also a late bid submitted from US Investment firm Fortress, that was rejected after it was deemed too late.

CVC and Advent have been granted a four-week exclusivity period where they will be able to conduct negotiations with league officials and finalise the conditions of the deal.

Additionally, the Financial Times reported that three people involved in the negotiations have told them how the Lega Serie A has contacted both Sky and DAZN about a one-year broadcasting renewal.

It is once thought that there was up to seven interested parties looking to work with the Italian league: CVC Capital Partners, Advent International, Bain Capital, Wanda-Infront, Apollo Global Management, General Athletic and TPG Capital.

It was earlier reported by Milano Finanza, that if CVC’s bid was successful, they would look to Amazon Prime to discuss a potential broadcasting package.

The investment from the private equity firms will look to cushion some of the financial blow that the league has seen after the Covid-19 pandemic was dramatically halted in March, costing over €700 million, according to Gabriele Gravina, president of the Italian Football Federation.

CVC had also previously discussed investing in the league’s stadiums, which for many have not been re-developed since the 1990 World Cup.

Author: Jake Wilkin