Tuesday October 3, 2023

Germany’s Soccer Body Seeks to Recoup Losses with Media Arm Sale

  • Deutsche Bank AG has been hired by Germany's governing soccer body.
  • The bank will oversee the possible sale of a package of media rights.
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Deutsche Bank AG has reportedly been hired to lead the possible sale of a package of media rights for German soccer’s governing body.

It’s unclear how big the sale would be, but Bloomberg reported that the German Football League (DFL) is considering selling up to 20% — which reportedly could be worth $18 billion — of its media unit that includes domestic and international broadcasting rights.

The body is also considering loans and other strategic investment ideas.

Around 10 private equity firms are expected to present their growth strategies as early as September, with CVC Capital Partners reportedly among those interested.

  • In March, CVC acquired a 13% stake in Ligue 1’s media rights for roughly $1.6 billion.
  • Last year, La Liga agreed to sell CVC an 8% stake in its own media company for $2.3 billion.

The DFL terminated plans last year to sell a 25% stake in its overseas broadcasting rights following pushback from Bundesliga clubs.

Deutsche Bank AG will work with Nomura Holdings during the process.

Why Worry?

Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 reported a 10.5% decline in sales to $4.5 billion during the 2020-21 season, with ticket sales falling 95% compared to the last pre-pandemic season. Bundesliga is also in the middle of a four-year, $4.9 billion domestic broadcasting deal with Sky and DAZN, a decline in value from its previous deal.

In April, DFL CEO Donata Hopfen said “new avenues” would need to be explored to “make German professional football future-proof.”

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