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Report: KKR, Bridgepoint and CVC make Bundesliga private equity investment shortlist

Deal could value German soccer's overseas broadcast rights at €2bn.

13 May 2021 Tom Bassam
  • Bundesliga clubs voting on plans on 19th May, with deal set to conclude in July 
  • 25% stake in overseas rights could reportedly bring in €500m

The German Football League (DFL), which oversees the top tiers of club soccer nationally, has drawn up its shortlist of private equity funds to buy a 25 per cent stake in its international broadcast rights business, according to Reuters.

The wire service reports that the KKR, Bridgepoint and CVC private equity firms have all advanced to the second round of an auction that could value the Bundesliga’s overseas broadcast rights at €2 billion (US$2.42 billion).

The German clubs will meet on 19th May to vote on the plans, with a two-thirds majority needed to move to the final phase. According to the report, final bids are expected by late June, with a deal envisaged in July.

Reuters says the sale could bring in €500 million (US$604 million) in much needed funds with German soccer clubs suffering a full season without venues at 100 per cent capacity.

Christian Seifert, DFL chief executive, previously confirmed that the professional soccer body is looking for a 25-year investment for a 25.1 per cent stake in its overseas marketing rights.

According to a Frankfurter Allgemeine report in March, 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 was later 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.

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.”

KKR, Bridgepoint and CVC are on the Bundesliga's shortlist of private equity investors

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