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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Barcelona Rushes to Offload Media Stake for $102M

  • The deal gained approval by board members in October 2021.
  • It will help Barcelona alleviate more than $1.5 billion in debt reported last year.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

FC Barcelona is once again selling a stake in Barca Studios, the club’s media production arm, for $102.6 million in a last-minute effort to alleviate debt and register players ahead of its La Liga opener — on Saturday.

Barcelona — the second-most-valuable soccer team in the world at $5 billion, per Forbes — will sell a 24.5% stake in Barca Studios to audiovisual production company Orpheus Media.

  • The deal gained approval by board members in October 2021.
  • It will help Barcelona alleviate more than $1.5 billion in debt reported last year. 

The sale comes after Barcelona agreed to offload a 24.5% stake in Barca Studios to investment fund GDA Luma earlier this week, according to Spanish daily newspaper Sport. However, talks stalled between Barcelona and GDA Luma, leading the club to search for fresh capital. 

Barcelona had a major sense of urgency due to an inability to register players ahead of its first La Liga matchday against Rayo Vallecano at Spotify Camp Nou.

Earlier this month, Barcelona secured a deal with fan engagement company Socios.com to sell a 24.5% stake in Barca Studios in a pact also valued at around $102 million. 

Economic Levers 

Barcelona has used other “economic levers” to alleviate debt.

In June, Barcelona secured a deal with private equity firm Sixth Street to sell a 10% stake in its TV rights worth up to $278 million. The club doubled down in July after selling an additional 15% stake in its TV rights to Sixth Street for $326.5 million.

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