(Reuters) - Private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and Advent International are preparing a joint 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) bid for a stake in a media firm to be set up by Italy’s Serie A soccer league, three sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
Looking for ways to lift flagging revenues and weather the coronavirus crisis, Serie A has asked investors to submit bids to buy a stake of up to 15% in a newly-created media company that would control its broadcast rights.
The deadline for final bids is Friday, two of the sources said, adding Serie A club presidents would decide on the winning bid on Sept. 9.
Reuters reported last month that CVC and Advent, the latter of which had bid jointly with Italy’s Fondo FSI, were among those competing to buy the stake, after exclusive talks between CVC and the League broke down in June.
The sources said CVC, Advent and Fondo had now joined forces in an offer for 10% of the new company that values it at 13 billion euros, up from the 11 billion euros implied by a previous offer from CVC.
CVC declined to comment.
News of the joint bid was first reported by the Financial Times on Wednesday morning.
Another group, led by Bain Capital, has also submitted a bid for a stake in the business, while Apollo, Fortress and Blackstone’s credit arm GSO have made proposals for debt or hybrid financing deals, sources told Reuters in late July.
The league, however, deferred the decision then to give clubs time to assess the proposals.
To secure the deal, bidders will require support from 14 of the league’s 20 clubs to set up a new company and if that goes through, 15 clubs must then vote in favour of their offer over that of rivals.
Under the joint bid, CVC would own half of the stake, Advent 40% and Fondo the remainder.
More than half of Serie A revenues come from broadcasting, but it lags the financial heavyweights of England’s Premier League, La Liga in Spain and the German Bundesliga.
($1 = 0.8465 euros)
Reporting by Elvira Pollina, Clara Denina, Swati Verma, Abhinav Ramnarayan; editing by Patrick Graham and Mark Potter
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