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Blackstone backs out of Bundesliga media rights bidding

Blackstone has withdrawn its bid to acquire a stake in the company holding the media rights to German football’s Bundesliga as opposition from fans to the involvement of foreign private capital reached fever pitch, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The report cites unnamed sources as confirming that following Blackstone’s withdrawal, CVC Capital Partners, which has already struck deals for stakes in the media interests of La Liga and Ligue 1, the elite Spanish and French football leagues respectively, remains the Bundesliga’s final private equity bidder.

According to an emailed statement from DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga – German professional football’s governing body – discussions will continue with CVC.

In December, German clubs voted in favour of allowing buyout firms to bid a for a share in the Bundesliga’s media rights as a way injecting extra capital into the game. Fan opposition to a deal has been ramping up in recent weeks, with many of last weekend’s matches delayed as fans threw sweets and bouncy balls onto the pitch in protest.

In a statement, DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga said: “We confirm that, following good discussions, Blackstone will no longer be considered as a strategic marketing partner of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 for various reasons.

“The DFL and the clubs have always been aware that the key points and red lines adopted in December place high demands on potential partners.”

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