Football: Soccer-France’s Ligue 1 lands four binding bids for media rights deal – sources


LONDON (Reuters) – Four buyout funds have made binding bids for a slice of the media rights enterprise of France’s high-flight soccer league because the race to help the nation’s money-strapped golf equipment with a significant lifeline enters the ultimate levels, sources advised Reuters.

CVC Capital Partners, Silver Lake, Hellman & Friedman and Oaktree Capital have all submitted rival bids forward of a March 9 deadline, three sources stated, talking on situation of anonymity.

A final-ditch try by European personal fairness agency BC Partners to crew up with Oaktree fell by means of, with BC Partners strolling away from the public sale, they stated.

French soccer governing physique Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) kicked off a course of final yr to promote a minority stake in a newly created firm that may market the TV and on-line broadcast rights for Ligue 1 – residence to high gamers like Paris St Germain’s Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.

The bids worth a stake of 10% to fifteen% in extra of 1.5 billion euros ($1.64 billion), with the ultimate quantity hinging on the diploma of governance management that the LFP will grant, the sources stated.

CVC, Silver Lake, Hellman & Friedman and BC Partners declined to remark whereas the LFP and Oaktree weren’t instantly accessible.

The LFP goals to wrap up the stake sale after the French presidential election – which takes place on April 10 and will final till April 24 within the occasion of a runoff – and will invite the four contenders to an additional spherical of bidding to provide them a closing probability to enhance their proposals, the sources added.

The sale, led by Lazard and Centerview Partners, is the newest transfer by a European league to faucet into personal fairness as soccer golf equipment wrestle to get better from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic after being hit onerous by empty or lowered capability stadiums.

It comes at a time when many heavyweight buyout funds have turned to sports activities offers to deploy money, with Silver Lake taking a minority stake in December within the Australian Professional League (APL), which operates that nation’s high-flight males’s and girls’s soccer leagues.

Silver Lake, which additionally backs the house owners of Manchester City, is seen as a robust contender for the French league deal however will face powerful competitors from Hellman & Friedman and CVC, the sources stated.

Last yr, CVC struck a 1.994 billion euro funding within the broadcasting and sponsorship rights linked to Spain’s LaLiga.

($1 = 0.9173 euros)

(Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia, further reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Ken Ferris)