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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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​Barcelona Secures Vital Funding With $1B Media Deal

  • Barca Media will be a new company listed on the U.S. stock marker.
  • Barcelona will use new funding for large player salaries it was struggling to pay previously.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

FC Barcelona completed a crucial funding deal on Friday to help address lingering questions about the club’s finances heading into the new La Liga season.

The Spanish club is creating a new company, Barca Media, which will be valued at $1 billion and listed on the U.S. stock market. 

Several steps were taken to facilitate the move. Barca is merging its digital content units with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Mountain & Co. I Acquisition Corp to form Barca Media in a deal expected to close by the end of the year. The team also announced new investors in Barca Vision (previously known as Barca Studios) — which comprises the club’s Web3, blockchain, and metaverse efforts — after uncertainty about the effort.

LIBERO football finance AG and private investors advised by NIPA Capital B.V. have acquired 29.5% of Bridgeburg Invest, the holding company of Barca Vision, for $131.5 million. LIBERO says its stake is 9.8%, meaning NIPA’s would be 19.7%. 

Socios.com and Orpheus Media had originally agreed to acquire 49.5% of Barca Vision for $109 million each. A source told Front Office Sports that the two companies paid about $11 million upon signing the deal and agreed to pay $32.8 million annually from 2023-25. 

Barcelona isn’t allowed to sell more than 49.5% of Barca Vision under club guidelines, so the new investors are buying portions of these stakes. Socios is selling a 7.13% stake (equivalent to the scheduled 2023 payment) and retaining about a 17% stake, according to the source.

That means Orpheus is likely selling most of its 24.75% stake in Barca Vision, potentially keeping about a 3% stake.

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