Tiny Team to Become Spain’s First Listed Soccer Club
(Bloomberg) -- A small Spanish team based on the Mediterranean coast, which counts former Atletico de Madrid player Juanfran as an investor, is set to become the country’s first listed soccer club.
In an extraordinary general meeting held late Monday, shareholders of CF Intercity unanimously backed the decision to list the club. The shares are expected to start trading by the end of June on the BME Growth, Spain’s stock exchange sub-market dedicated to small- and medium-sized companies.
Based in Sant Joan d’Alacant, 430 kilometers (267 miles) south-east to the capital Madrid, Intercity will have an initial market capitalization of as much as 4.5 million euros ($5.5 million). The amount has been raised before the listing, said chairman Salvador Marti, who alongside two other co-founders owns about 50%.
“We realized that most semi-professional clubs are funded by a patron injecting money upon which depends their survival,” said Marti. “We thought the club could instead take advantage of the existing tools in the financial markets to atomize its shareholding rather than relying on a single investor. And why not in such a soccer-loving country?”
Tapping the public market may become a more attractive alternative for soccer teams after a season where the closing of stadiums and the consequent steep decline in match-day merchandising sales hit revenues.
U.K.’s Manchester United Plc. and its Italian rival Juventus Football Club SpA are among Europe’s largest traded soccer teams. Shares in Italy’s AS Roma SpA recently surged as much as 26% after it announced the appointment of Jose Mourinho as its new coach.
Since Intercity’s foundation in 2017, the club men’s team has been climbing from the regional league and on Sunday were promoted to the national fourth division, a semi-professional tournament known as Segunda Division RFEF, while its women’s team plays in the local league.
The management expects to carry out at least two more capital increases, with the goal of potentially reaching a market capitalization of about 20 million euros if the team gets promoted again to the higher tier, the Primera Division RFEF, which is a professional league.
It is planning new a sports complex in the city of Alicante as well as a new stadium with a capacity of around 7,000.
“Our idea was to make shareholders decide about the club’s future, the higher the budget the greater likelihood to reach to top leagues,” said Marti, who’s also chairman of facial recognition company Facephi Biometria SA, Intercity’s main sponsor. “The goal, as any other company, is to achieve the break-even. And for a soccer team that means getting promoted to reach the professional league.”
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