Soccer-CVC, Advent join forces with 1.3 bln euro bid for Serie A -FT


Aug 26 (Reuters) - Private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and Advent International are preparing a joint bid of 1.3 billion euros ($1.54 billion) for a minority stake in Italy's Serie A soccer league, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

Looking for ways to lift flagging revenues and weather the coronavirus crisis, Serie A has asked investors to submit bids to buy a stake of up to 15% in a newly-created media company that would control its broadcast rights.

Reuters reported last month that the two groups were among those competing to buy the stake, but the FT said they had now joined forces in an offer for 10% of the new company that values it at 13 billion euros, up from the 11 billion euros implied by a previous offer by CVC.

Another group, Bain Capital, has also submitted a bid for a stake in the business, while Apollo, Fortress and Blackstone's credit arm GSO have made proposals for debt or hybrid financing deals, sources told Reuters in late July.

The league, however, deferred the decision then to give clubs time to assess the proposals.

To secure the deal, bidders will require support from 14 of the league's 20 clubs to set up a new company and if that goes through, 15 clubs must then vote in favour of their offer over that of rivals.

Under the joint bid, CVC would own half of the stake, Advent 40% and Fondo the remainder, the FT reported.

More than half of Serie A revenues come from broadcasting, but it lags the financial heavyweights of England's Premier League, La Liga in Spain and the German Bundesliga.

A decision on the bids from Lega Calcio Serie A, the body that runs Italy's top division, is now expected within the next fortnight, the FT said.

CVC, Advent and Fondo FSI did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

($1 = 0.8465 euros)

(Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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