French league approves $1.66 billion deal with CVC Capital Partners
The French football league has announced an investment agreement with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners as part of a new commercial subsidiary in charge of marketing media rights.
The league said its general meeting had unanimously approved the creation of the subsidiary and CVC’s commitment to invest 1.5 billion euros ($1.66 billion).
The league, known as the LFP, said most of the financial contribution will go to professional football clubs, with another part being used for amateur football and repayment of a state-guaranteed loan taken out in 2020.
Some of the money will also be used for a reserve fund and to start business subsidiary operations, the league said.
In return for its investment, CVC will hold a 13.0% stake in the league, valuing the entire equity of the commercial subsidiary at 11.5 billion euros ($12.7 billion).
The league has indicated that it expects the transaction to be concluded by the end of July after consultation with the representative bodies of the LFP staff and the green light from the competition authorities.
Last year, a large majority of top Spanish football clubs, with the notable exceptions of Real Madrid and Barcelona, signed an investment plan with the same private equity firm.
Apart from football, CVC has also invested in sports such as Formula 1, rugby and volleyball.
Following the collapse of its record television rights contract with Spanish broadcaster Mediapro, the French football league was forced last year to ask the government to put in place a financial rescue plan amid huge losses revenue exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
The deal with Mediapro should have been worth more than 4 billion euros ($4.8 billion) over four years for the top two leagues, but fell apart after just four months.
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