MILAN (Reuters) – Serie A has asked investors to bid for minority shares in the broadcasting rights business on July 24, two sources close to the issue said on Monday, because Italy’s top football league is looking for ways to overcome COVID – 19 emergency.
Private equity firms CVC, Bain Capital, Advent International and TPG are among the companies interested in the offer, the source said. The personal equity of Apollo and the Atlantic General also looked at the dossier, one source said.
CVC, Advent, TPG, General Atlantic and Apollo declined to comment. Bain Capital cannot immediately comment.
Series A, suggested by investment bank Lazard, will choose a short list or will give an exclusive period to one of the bidders at the end of July, a source said.
Broadcast rights broadcast more than half of Serie A’s revenues but the business faces growing challenges because of the economic downturn triggered by the pandemic, which could further increase the income gap with other top European leagues.
Serie A has been in exclusive talks for more than a month on a 2.2 billion euro ($ 2.50 billion) bid from private equity firm CVC Capital for up to 20% ownership in an effort to manage league media rights for 10 seasons. However, negotiations were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, other private equity investors have joined the race with rival bids, sources said last month.
Serie A is looking for fresh resources to improve its media business, but it is uncertain that the 20 clubs that play in the league will eventually agree to sell minority shares, another source said.
($ 1 = 0.8799 euros)
Reporting by Elisa Anzolin and Elvira Pollina; Editing by Christian Radnedge