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City Football Group set for ‘€127.1m’ EC Bahia acquisition after members approve deal

98.6% in favour of Brazilian club joining Abu Dhabi-state backed global soccer network.

6 December 2022 Rory Jones

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City Football Group (CFG) is set to complete the acquisition of Esporte Club Bahia after the Brazilian soccer club’s members voted in 98.6 per cent in favour of the move at their general assembly.

Bahia, who were recently promoted to Brazil’s Serie A top-flight, will become the 13th club to join CFG’s global network. Centred on Premier League giants Manchester City, the group also includes Major League Soccer’s (MLS) New York City FC, Melbourne City and Montevideo City Torque.

The deal, worth €127.1 million (US$133.68 million) in total according to Spanish sports business outlet 2Playbook, will see Abu Dhabi-backed CFG secure a 90 per cent majority share in the Salvador-based club once complete.

“Today is an incredibly exciting milestone for Bahia and City Football Group,” said Ferran Soriano, CFG chief executive.

“We are honoured that Bahia’s shareholders have placed their trust in us and voted in favour of City Football Group’s investment.

“We are now continuing to work on the transaction process, which we expect to finalise in early 2023.”

He added: “By completing the process, we will implement a long-term strategy for Bahia to boost the growth of the club.

“We will prioritise strengthening squads and youth divisions to compete at a high level, engaging with fans and improving their experience, achieving solid long-term financial sustainability and always keeping in focus the strong values, roots and identity of EC Bahia.”

Guilherme Bellintani, Bahia president, said: “Today our partners took a historic and democratic decision, bringing us closer to being part of the largest and most pioneering football group in the world and a new future for our dear and daring club, through Bahia SAF.”

“It is very exciting that our beloved club is about to join the City Football Group. We will continue to work hard in the coming months to finalise the investment.”

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