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Texas Pacific Group and Bank of America also ‘interested’ in Serie A investment

Bologna's Riccardo Orsolini competes for the ball with Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo during the Serie A match on June 22 (by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)

A total of eight private equity funds and banks could be interested in investing in a new company to market Serie A’s media rights.

Global private investment firm Texas Pacific Group has joined CVC, Advent International, Bain Capital, KKR, Blackstone, FSI and Cinven among the funds reported to be interested in the league, while Bank of America is also considering entering the race, according to a report in Milano Finanza.

Yesterday (Thursday) Reuters reported the league had appointed French financial consultancy Lazard to weigh up the different bids following a general assembly meeting.

At the same meeting, Serie A clubs mandated league president Paolo dal Pino to continue exploring the feasibility of a deal in a bid to get more definite proposals by the end of July.

The goal for the league is to discuss a range of different proposals and business plans, given the only detailed offer it has received so far is from CVC.

CVC is thought to have had an exclusive negotiating window until 26 June for a proposal to invest a reported €2.2bn ($2.47bn) to acquire a 20 per-cent stake in the new company to manage Serie A’s media rights, international trademark and commercial development. The offer also included proposals to part-finance a new investment fund responsible for stadium development.

Bain Capital was last month said to have followed this up with a “tentative offer” to buy a 25-per-cent stake in the league for €3bn.

Meanwhile, US private equity group Blackstone has reportedly been ready to extend a €100m loan to the league to meet its clubs’ short-term needs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Milano Finanza suggested a potential bid from Advent International could value the Italian league at €13bn overall.

In a recent interview with SportBusiness, investment specialist Adam Sommerfeld, head of sports investments at international capital raising firm Certus Capital Partners, said seasoned investors were looking for equity positions in football that they could grow when the industry rebounds from the Coronavirus.

“I think the very positive thing is people like CVC and a number of others are looking to make landmark statement investments in football,” he said.

“CVC have just done a deal in rugby with Pro14. It’s that type of statement deal that almost moves the market – like the Silver Lake deal with Manchester City – where you get a lot of people following behind the thinking that now is clearly the time to capitalise.”

Serie A resumed on June 20 and will play matches almost every day to complete the 2019-20 season by August 2. The season had been suspended since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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