Blackstone, CVC, keen to invest in Italy’s Serie A soccer league

Blackstone Group Inc and CVC Capital Partners are holding independent talks with Italy’s Serie A soccer league, with both private equity firms keen to investment in the league.

CVC is in talks to purchase a 20% stake for $2.17 billion (2 billion euros), which values the league at 10 billion euros, said the Financial Times citing two sources briefed on the discussions, which incidentally began at the end of 2019.

Blackstone is separately considering lending to clubs to help cover their costs during the shutdown of fixtures, said the FT report citing sources familiar with the proposal.

Blackstone declined comments.

CVC and Serie A did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

According to a sources, negotiations are at an early stage and there is a potential legal hurdle.

If CVC lands the deal, it could give it a role in selling broadcasting rights for 10 years from 2021, said the report citing sources.

CVC has had sports deals in the past. In 2019, CVC held talks with soccer’s global governing body FIFA on acquiring the commercial rights to the revamped Club World Cup.

On March 9, Italy suspended the league campaign as part of a national lockdown. Italy’s sports minister is unlikely to resume the league’s championship given the COVID-19 pandemic.

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