Vasco da Gama
- Takeover values Vasco at US$333m
- Deal is a record in Brazilian soccer
- 777 adds to soccer portfolio, having acquired Genoa and taken a stake in Sevilla
Miami-based alternative investment firm 777 Partners has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Brazilian second tier soccer club Vasco da Gama.
The pair have signed a memorandum of understanding for a non-binding proposal, which will see 777 invest R$700 million (US$137 million) for a 70 per cent share of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série B outfit. The firm will also take on the club’s debts.
The agreement values Vasco at R$1.7 billion (US$333 million), making the deal the largest of its kind in the history of Brazilian soccer. It is also the biggest since new laws were introduced allowing domestic clubs to be run as limited liability companies controlled by external investors.
777 will conduct a due diligence process over the next 90 days. The investment remains subject to approval by Vasco partners at the club’s general meeting.
In a statement confirming the deal, Vasco said the arrival of 777 as a long-term strategic partner will help the club return to the top of Brazilian soccer. As the firm’s main investment in South America, Vasco will also look to tap into 777’s network of companies and get access to new media, technology, broadcasting and data capabilities to help modernise the club and aid in talent identification.
“We are very excited and proud to have the opportunity to join Vasco da Gama’s incredible team,” said Josh Wander (pictured above left), founder and managing partner of 777 Partners.
“We have immense respect for Vasco’s rich history of success and its pioneering role in supporting social inclusion in Brazilian sport. We look forward to investing in a city with one of the best talent pools in the world, in a country that lives and breathes football, just like we do.”
The takeover is the latest soccer investment from 777. In September, the firm acquired Italian top-flight club Genoa in a deal Reuters reported was worth some US$150 million. 777 also has a stake in Spanish top tier side Sevilla and was linked with a takeover of French club Saint-Étienne.
In addition to soccer, December saw the British Basketball League (BBL) announce a UK£7 million (US$9.5 million) investment from 777 for a 45 per cent stake in the organisation.