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PEW US Awards 2020

Private equity firm CVC plans to inject USD3.2 billion in Spain’s La Liga, which covers Spain’s top two soccer divisions, in exchange for nearly 11 per cent of its television rights over 50 years, a deal which is currently being contested by two of its heavyweights: Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona.

Atletico Bilbao as well as an unnamed Second Division side are also opposing the transaction — the only four of Spain’s 42 clubs in the top two divisions to do so. On Wednesday Real Madrid announced they would sue over the deal, which was approved by La Liga on Thursday after Real Madrid and Barça secured a last-minute compromise to opt-out.

We’ve seen mounting investor interest in the sports sector recently – and particularly European football clubs. In this week’s podcast, Private Equity Wire chats to Luis Garcia Alvarez, manager of the Madrid-based MAPFRE AM Behavioural Fund, which has a 10 per cent exposure to European football clubs including Dortmund and Ajax.

The conversation delved into topics including the operational improvements that could be made within European sports clubs, and the challenges that could arise once the deal has completed, why US investors are turning toward the European sports sector, and what differences we’re seeing in terms of the sports deals taking place in the US versus those in Europe.

Global M&A activity saw a strong recovery in H1 2021, as dealmaking count and value are both set to reach or surpass the record highs of previous years, according to Pitchbook’s latest Global M&A report. In total, more than 17,000 deals closed with a combined value exceeding USD2 trillion, as the bounce back from the pandemic-spurred lows in 2020 continued to pick up the slack.

In the early-stage segment, Breega, backer of Moneybox, and Connect Ventures, backer of Truelayer, closed a GBP5m seed equity round into Keebo, a credit card approved by the FCA to use open banking data in order to improve users’ credit ratings.

Karin Wasteson
Editor, Private Equity Wire

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