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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Watford F.C. to Sell 10% of Team to Public to Raise Revenue

  • The second-division side will attempt to raise $22.2 million to increase revenue.
  • Shares, in the form of digital equity, are valued at around $15.
Watford F.C.

Watford F.C. is raising money the old-fashioned way. 

After seeking an investor the past few years, Watford will put up 10% of the team for sale to the public in an attempt to raise $22.2 million to increase revenue. 

The club, which competes in the Championship, England’s second division, has been owned by Italian Gino Pozzo since 2012. 

The offering values the club at $223 million and comes in the form of digital equity, with shares available for around $15. The money will be used to help bolster the club, which was relegated from the English Premier League in 2021–22, and will see parachute payments from the top division end this summer, hence the revenue dip. The ultimate goal is to get back to the EPL. The club has partnered with U.S. investment firm Republic and its European arm, Seedrs, to help conduct sales on both sides of the pond. 

“In common with many other clubs, we have been exploring opportunities to bring investment into the club to grow the club further and bolster revenue streams which, in turn, allow us to strengthen the playing squads,” Watford said in a letter to fans.

Interested investors in Europe will have to buy a minimum of four shares, which costs about $64, while U.S. investors would have to buy at least eight for $127. Preregistration launched Tuesday, and the official launch day is Thursday. Shares can be purchased with crypto or traditional currency but can’t be traded until a 12-month holding period expires. 

While the club is open to investors who want a larger stake in the team, it believes making shares available to the public will widen its potential investor pool. British boxer Anthony Joshua has been linked to the club as a possible stakeholder. 

“Having looked at a number of options, we have decided to take the exciting and innovative step of becoming the first major English club to offer true ownership through digital equity,” the letter said. “Digital equity is an easy and practical way to access shares in the club.”

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