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PE Hub quotes Richard Davies on private equity interest in football and sports

Germany’s top football clubs – collectively the Bundesliga – voted on whether to allow the sale of a stake in its commercial media rights to private equity buyers. However, the results of the vote fell below the required threshold and the sale did not proceed.
 
Richard Davies, Partner in our commercial team, explains to PE Hub that the recent trend of private equity firms taking an interest in sports is likely to continue, with sport "displaying attractions such as a long-term growth trend but with a limited pool of available assets."
 
He continues:
 
“Bundesliga is one of the top five European football leagues, meaning there are few alternative like-for-like assets. For the sports, the injection of capital and commercial expertise that the right PE investors can provide, can make these deals very attractive [...]"
 
“Secondly, investment horizons in sports assets are typically longer than the usual PE deal cycle and rights to exit are a key issue in negotiating these deals – there is often tension between the sport wanting control over who can buy the stake and the fund wanting freedom to sell to the highest bidder,” he added. “But provided these issues can be navigated, both parties have a lot to gain.”
 
Read the full article in PE Hub here (paywalled).

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