- DFL looking to create separate divisions to manage overseas media rights and esports competitions
- Bundesliga International would be absorbed into new ‘MediaCo’ unit
Christian Seifert, the chief executive of the German Football League (DFL), has confirmed that the professional soccer body is looking for a 25-year investment for a 25.1 per cent in its overseas marketing rights.
According to Frankfurter Allgemeine, the DFL has sent an investment prospectus to 30 private equity firms and data specialists to garner interest in the opportunity. The German newspaper reports that the DFL is seeking to create two new subsidiaries. A new ‘MediaCo’ division will reportedly market the Bundesliga’s media rights overseas, while ‘DigitalCo’ would market the DFL’s esports competitions.
The report, which has been confirmed by the DFL, says that the new MediaCo division would absorb the existing Bundesliga International unit and look to build out a new over-the-top (OTT) streaming platform.
Japanese investment bank Nomura was previously appointed by the DFL to manage the sales process and has purportedly set a six-week timeframe for parties to express their interest. First offers are reportedly expected towards the end of April or early May, which would then create a shortlist of five for the 36 clubs in the top two tiers of German soccer to consider.
Seifert told Frankfurter Allgemeine: “The construction essentially envisages a new company that will receive the license to exploit international media rights and global marketing rights for 25 years.
“This underlines the solid long-term investment approach, which offers both clubs and investors security when entering and also when exiting. Private equity firms are usually partners on a temporary basis, and under our model an exit is possible after a few years without any problems.”
Reports that the DFL was considering private equity investment for its international arm first emerged last November, with Seifert later revealing that talks were planned for February. That timeline has clearly been delayed, but Advent International and BC Partners were initially linked with a deal, before the Financial Times reported that more than 20 private equity firms were interested.
DFL CEO Christian Seifert has confirmed it is looking for a 25-year investment for a 25.1 per cent in its overseas marketing rights