Private Equity eyes France for its latest bet in European sport – .

Private Equity eyes France for its latest bet in European sport – .

(Bloomberg) – Advent International is considering buying a stake in a new media rights company set up by France’s elite football league, which is home to stars such as Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, according to people familiar with the matter.
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The private equity firm is one of many investors interested in responding to the Professional Football League’s search for a financial partner, the people said, asking not to be identified while discussing confidential information.

Discussions are still in their early stages and there is no certainty that Advent will decide to pursue an investment, they said. Representatives for Advent and the LFP declined to comment.

The LFP presented the project to clubs this week, one person said. Discussions will run until mid-January, after which league members will decide whether they are looking for a potential investment of around 1.5 billion euros ($ 1.7 billion), the person said. .

In March, the French National Assembly voted in favor of a bill allowing professional sports leagues to create a commercial entity and sell a stake to outside investors. The bill – aimed primarily at football and rugby – states that leagues will have to control at least 80% of the voting and economic rights in any entity. The French Senate has yet to approve the plans.

Other football leagues in Europe have already sought to take such steps, with Advent and CVC Capital Partners at the heart of a similar deal involving Italy’s Serie A. In Spain, CVC is investing more than € 2 billion in La Liga through a new company managing broadcast revenues.

The measures come as European football seeks to repair its finances after the closures and suspensions of Covid-19 which wiped out around 9 billion euros from the club’s revenue. Up to 100 of the European teams affected by the pandemic could access a new multibillion-euro loan fund set up by UEFA, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

The finances of French football were further shaken in December after the collapse of a broadcast contract of around 800 million euros per season with Mediapro. The Spanish broadcaster has since been replaced by Inc., which pays only a fraction of the price to stream the matches.

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