Juventus Shares Jump as Club Draws Ajax in Champions League

(Bloomberg) -- Juventus Football Club S.p.A. shares extended their weekly rise to as much as 25 percent after Cristiano Ronaldo’s side was drawn to play AFC Ajax N.V. in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

“It’s my assumption that Juventus will now reach the next round,” Banca IMI Spa’s Alberto Francese, the only bank analyst covering the shares, said by phone after the draw. Bookmakers agreed, with William Hill among those making the club odds-on to progress to the semi-finals.

Juventus shares are on course for their best week since news of Ronaldo’s arrival surfaced in July. The stock soared the most ever after the Portuguese player’s hat-trick on Tuesday turned around a 2-0 first-leg defeat against Spain’s Atletico Madrid to secure the Torino-based team a place among the last eight.

Juventus Shares Jump as Club Draws Ajax in Champions League

Semi-finalists receive an extra 12 million-euro ($13.6 million) share of the prize pot, with a further 19 million euros potentially at stake for going further. In addition to prize money, each extra round Juventus plays in the competition is worth about 10 million euros to 15 million euros, through match-ticket sales and merchandising, according to Francese.

But the success is even more relevant in terms of longer-term visibility and popularity for the club around the world, and what that will mean for commercial bargaining power in 12 to 18 months’ time, he added. “That’s the reason that Juventus bought Ronaldo, because he’s very popular, the most popular player in the world.”

Juventus climbed as much as 5.7 percent in Milan and traded 3.4 percent higher as of 1:12 p.m. Shares of Ajax were unchanged in Amsterdam, as were those of F.C. Porto in Lisbon, after the Portuguese club got England’s Liverpool F.C. as its quarter-final opponents. Shares of Manchester United Plc could come under pressure in New York later after the Premier League side was matched against five-time tournament winners FC Barcelona of Spain.

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