Belgian Soccer’s Club Brugge to Go Public in Brussels IPO

Belgian soccer team Club Brugge is planning an initial public offering in Brussels.

The runaway leaders of Belgium’s top division published an intention to float document Wednesday. Credit Suisse Group AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Berenberg and Belfius Bank have been appointed to work on the IPO on Euronext.

Grizzly Sports NV, a shareholder group led by Chairman Bart Verhaeghe, will sell part of its roughly 95% stake in Club Brugge but remain the majority investor. No new equity will be issued, according to the document, which confirmed details of an earlier Bloomberg News report.

“This step enables Club Brugge to remain at the forefront of the key expected evolutions in the football sector,” said Verhaeghe in a statement. “The focus on our fans, the performance on the field and strong commercial management will remain our guiding principles in the next phase of our development.”

Verhaeghe will continue in his role as chairman and Vincent Mannaert will remain chief executive officer of the club.

Club Brugge has competed in a major European tournament in 43 of the last 50 seasons. This has ensured a slice of important broadcast revenue and provided a shop window for its best talent, such as Charles De Ketelaere, an academy graduate attracting interest from some of Europe’s big clubs.

The club generated profits of 24 million euros ($29 million) in the 2019/2020 season on revenue of 120 million euros, under international accounting standards. It has plans to build a 40,000-seat stadium.

Club Brugge will join European soccer teams including AFC Ajax, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus F.C. and Manchester United F.C. in having shares listed in the public markets.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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