Cinven to Weigh Bid for Stake in Top Italy Soccer League

Private equity firm Cinven is considering a bid for a minority stake in Italy’s top soccer league, becoming the latest high-profile suitor to emerge after Serie A’s exclusive talks with CVC Capital Partners ended, according to people familiar with the matter.

Top officials from the league and its 20 teams are set to meet Tuesday to discuss whether to hire advisers and kick off a fresh bidding process, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Private equity firms Advent International and Bain Capital have also been pursuing a stake in Serie A, Bloomberg News reported last month. Any deal would likely see investors buy a minority stake in a league unit that owns its lucrative TV rights, people with knowledge of the matter have said. Serie A is Europe’s fourth-richest soccer league, according to Deloitte Sports Business Group’s latest review of the game, published earlier in June.

“Private equity would aim to increase Serie A’s international appeal,” said Alexios Dimitropoulos, a senior analyst at London-based media consultancy Ampere Analysis Ltd. A new investor could help drum up competition for domestic television rights by structuring packages in a different way, he said.

No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty Cinven will proceed with a firm offer, the people said. Representatives for Cinven, Serie A and CVC declined to comment.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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