Brazil’s pro soccer teams — which historically have lagged far behind the global success of the country’s national squads — are getting a massive financial boost, in part from U.S. money.
The New York-based Serengeti Asset Management and Brazil’s Life Capital Partners are collectively purchasing a 20% stake in the commercial rights of most clubs in Liga Forte Futbol, a collective including teams in Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, B, and C.
The 50-year deal, valuing the stake at about $500 million, will see the investment firms aiding in LFF’s revenue-generating efforts, including a pursuit of larger international media rights.
Roughly two dozen LFF teams have already signed on to the deal, which resembles in structure CVC’s Capital Partners’ prior investments in the media rights of Spain’s La Liga and France’s Ligue 1. Serengeti also recently engineered a similar commercial investment in Peruvian pro soccer.
Despite Brazil’s five World Cup titles, nine Copa América championships, and a legacy burnished by international superstars such as Pelé and Neymar, Brazil pro soccer has lagged far behind top European pro leagues such as the Premier League and La Liga, in part due to significant financial imbalances between individual clubs. The deal with Serengeti and Life Capital Partners seeks to address those imbalances.
“Unified, following the best practices in the global market, our vision is to transform the Brazilian league into one of the three biggest leagues in the world,” said Mário Bittencourt, president of LFF’s Fluminese FC.