Italy's Serie A Clubs Vote To Review Private Equity Bids

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Clubs in Italy’s Serie A football league have voted for an in-depth review of bids by private equity firms for a stake in a new vehicle that will handle broadcast rights.

The clubs voted unanimously to carry out further reviews on two bids led by CVC and Bain Capital, which value a 10 per cent stake in the media business at up to €1.6bn, according to Reuters.

Read more: CVC and Advent team up in €1.3bn bid for Italy’s Serie A

In July Lega Serie A, the governing body of the league, placed a cap of 15 per cent on any potential private equity investment.

Several clubs are said to be sceptical about the prospect of handing over control to private equity firms. Instead they favour setting up a company funded through a debt deal, which would allow them to remain in control of commercial matters.

Lazio’s president Claudio Lotito and Napoli’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis are among those who are reluctant to give up control, according to Reuters.

For any deal to go through, 14 out of the 20 clubs must vote in favour of the stake sale.

Last month it was reported CVC and Advent International joined forces in a €1.3bn (£1.17bn) offer for a 10 per cent stake in the new company.

Read more: CVC looks to add coronavirus clauses to Six Nations investment

The two buyout firms had previously made separate bids but are now working with Italian investment fund Fondo FSI in a bid that values the league at €13bn (£11.68bn), according to the FT.

The new company will control the league’s broadcasting rights business for the next 10 seasons. More than half of Serie A revenues come from broadcasting, but it lags behind the Premier League, La Liga in Spain and Germany’s Bundesliga.