Serie A Agrees Sale of $2 Billion Stake to CVC and Advent

CVC Capital Partners and Advent International have agreed to acquire a stake in a new media unit being created by Italy’s Serie A soccer league.

Serie A’s board unanimously approved a deal on Thursday. CVC and Advent will pay 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion) for 10% of the new company that will manage the league’s TV rights. Italy’s FSI fund is also part of the consortium.

“The deal is a true turning point for the whole Italian soccer industry that will allow us to reaffirm Serie A’s brand worldwide,” the league’s boss Paolo Dal Pino told Bloomberg News by phone.

Serie A Agrees Sale of $2 Billion Stake to CVC and Advent

Serie A and its 20 clubs want to build a more modern platform for revenue generation, said Dal Pino, a digital entrepreneur and veteran executive of several Italian companies including Telecom Italia SpA and Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA, who helped steer the deal with the private equity firms.

Representatives for the CVC, Advent and FSI bid group declined to comment.

Serie A, home to players including Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is in need of a cash injection after decades of underinvestment. The league and its teams have seen their finances further hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused match-day sales to evaporate and diminished broadcast revenue.

The Italian league has been trying to increase its revenue to levels closer to those of England’s Premier League and Spain’s La Liga. It generated sales of about 2.5 billion euros in the 2018-2019 season, with almost 60% coming from broadcasting, according to a June report from Deloitte.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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