U.S. investors are close to making their latest strike in European soccer.
An unnamed U.S.-based SPAC is close to buying a significant stake in Italian Serie A club Udinese from the Pozzo family, according to The Athletic.
- The deal will also likely include around 10% of Watford from the second-tier English Football League Championship.
- Udinese is valued at around $200 million. Watford’s estimated value is $160.6 million, but that could jump to $229.4 million should the team win promotion to the Premier League.
- There have also been talks of combining the transaction with a purchase of Sabadell, a team in Spain’s third-tier Primera Federación.
If the purchase is completed, the company holding the teams will seek to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
SPACs, which raise money in an initial public offering with the intent to acquire a private company and take it public, experienced a huge rise throughout the sports industry and beyond over the last two years, but are showing signs of a dropoff.
Total SPAC proceeds rocketed to $83.4 billion in 2020 and then nearly tripled to $162.5 billion in 2021. This year, the investment vehicle has seen only $13.2 billion in proceeds, similar to 2019’s $13.6 billion.
The average IPO size for SPACs has been $160.5 million this year, which would be the lowest since 2014.