Football Germany’s DFL will start selling media rights to Bundesliga sources in October

Soccer Football – Bundesliga – SC Freiburg v Borussia Moenchengladbach – Europa-Park stadium, Freiburg, Germany – September 11, 2022 SC Freiburg’s Ritus Doan in action with Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Ramy Bensebaini REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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MUNICH, Sept 16 (Reuters) – The German Football Association is due to meet a second group of private equity investors on Monday before proceeding with the sale of a $3.6 billion stake in the Bundesliga’s media rights business towards the end of October begins, four sources told Reuters.

The German Football League (DFL) met with a first batch of buyout funds including CVC Capital Partners earlier this week and intends to finalize meetings with the remaining bidders next week, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

Several heavyweight private equity funds have come forward to express interest in the Bundesliga rights race, including Bain Capital, KKR, EQT, Advent, Silver Lake, Blackstone (BX.N) and Bridgepoint, but the auction is expected to take place don’t start until late October, the sources said.

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The talks will help the DFL assess interest in the Bundesliga’s domestic and international media rights and the size of the stake on offer, which could range from 10 to 20 percent, they said.

A spokesman for the DFL said they were examining the option of a “strategic partnership that would bring in growth capital and know-how,” adding: “A formal sales process is currently being set up for this.”

EQT, CVC, KKR, Advent and Blackstone all declined to comment, while Bain, Silver Lake and Bridgepoint were not immediately available for comment.

The Bundesliga’s media rights deal is valued at between €15 billion and €18 billion, with a 20 percent stake costing around €3.6 billion ($3.6 billion), the sources said.

This is consistent with Spanish La Liga and French Ligue 1’s assessment of similar deals in which CVC recently invested, the sources said.

National football leagues in Europe are increasingly turning their attention to private equity investments as they look for ways to raise capital and expand their global reach.

Bundesliga bidders have so far only received a so-called “teaser” document about the sale, which is a brief synopsis of the potential deal with no relevant valuation or price expectation details, the sources said.

DFL, which is advised by Nomura and Deutsche Bank, is expected to send out confidential information packages later in the autumn and will seek a first tranche of non-binding offers in December, one of the sources said.

Before the final bidders are shortlisted, a commission made up of the DFL leadership and representatives of some clubs in both the Bundesliga and the second German division – the so-called Presidium – must come together and approve the sale, which is entering the final stages. said this source.

If all goes according to plan, the DFL will then collect binding bids in early 2023 and select a winner before the end of the first quarter, the sources said.

($1 = 1.0040 euros)

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Reporting by Alex Hübner, Pamela Barbaglia, Andres Gonzalez and Emma-Victoria Farr, additional reporting by Elvira Pollina Editing by Mark Potter

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