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Ligue 1 clubs approve €1.5bn CVC investment

French soccer clubs agree to distribution of funds from private equity firm.

28 March 2022 Ed Dixon

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  • CVC has been in exclusive talks with LFP over taking 13% stake worth €1.5bn in new commercial company
  • LFP to reportedly receive initial €600m this summer, with PSG taking biggest cut

Clubs in French soccer’s top-flight Ligue 1 have agreed to the Professional Football League’s (LFP) investment deal with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed the LFP had entered exclusive discussions over Luxembourg-based CVC taking a 13 per cent stake worth €1.5 billion (US$1.6 billion) in the organisation’s new commercial company that will handle the selling of broadcast rights for Ligue 1.

The LFP said that the deal would value French soccer’s commercial arm at €11.5 billion (US$12.6 billion).

Clubs in the second-tier Ligue 2 have also agreed to the investment.

CVC saw off competition from the likes of Hellman & Friedman, Oaktree Capital and Silver Lake for the stake, adding to its extensive sports investment portfolio which also includes rugby union, cricket and volleyball.

Specifics over how the funds will be distributed have not been disclosed. According to L’Équipe and RMC Sport, the LFP will receive an initial €600 million (US$658 million) this July. Paris Saint-Germain, widely accepted as France’s biggest club, will reportedly take €200 million (US$219 million) of the €1.5 billion investment, having initially wanted about 30 per cent of the total.

Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais will purportedly pocket €90 million (US$98.6 million) apiece, while OGC Nice, Stade Rennais, AS Monaco and Lille OSC will get €80 million (US$87.7 million) each.

According to RMC Sport, these payments will be made over there years. The first amount will be 40 per cent of the total, followed by consecutive 30 per cent installments over the next two seasons.

Remaining Ligue 1 clubs will reportedly be paid €33 million (US$36.2 million) each. Of this amount, €16.5 million will arrive this July and the remaining half will be received in June 2023.

The LFP will also reportedly immediately reimburse a €170 million (US$186.3 million) state loan it took during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the organisation will place €100 million (US$109.6 million) in a reserve fund and a further €100 million will be be used for operating costs for the new commercial company.

The deal is expected to be formally signed off at an LFP general assembly on 1st April.

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