CVC Capital in Talks for $1.7B Stake in French Soccer Media Rights

    • CVC Capital Partners is in exclusive talks with France’s top soccer organization for a 13% stake in a new entity that will hold its media rights.
    • The stake is worth $1.7 billion.

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is in exclusive talks with France’s top soccer organization for a 13% stake worth $1.7 billion in a new entity that will hold its media rights. 

A deal would value the Ligue de Football Professionnel, which oversees Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, at $12.7 billion nearly two years after it took out a $253.3 million loan when its broadcast partner MediaPro stopped making payments on its rights deal worth $877.9 million per year. 

Last December, Ligue 1 was valued between $10 billion and $14 billion, making the league’s media rights a hot commodity for potential investors. 

  • Earlier this month, Silver Lake, Oaktree Capital, Hellman & Friedman, and CVC submitted binding bids for the stake, according to Reuters.
  • Reports stated that Bain Capital, Advent International, and French private equity firms Adrian and BPI also submitted offers. 

Bridgepoint Group, Apollo Global Management, EQT Partners, and KKR & Co. were also reportedly interested in bidding as well, though it’s unclear if they did.

Nothing New 

In December 2021, Spain’s La Liga ratified its agreement with CVC for a stake in the league’s media rights. CVC struck a deal worth $2.3 billion in exchange for an 8.2% stake in a new company that will hold media rights for the Spanish soccer league.

The deal, which lasts 50 years, has been opposed by La Liga’s Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Athletic Bilbao. The clubs filed a lawsuit against the pact shortly after it received approval from 37 of the league’s 42 teams, calling the deal “ruinous” for Spanish football.