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Ligue 1’s new commercial business sees €37.5m of CVC money spent on setup costs, says report

  • CVC acquired 13% stake worth €1.5bn in LFP’s commercial company
  • Business valued at €11.5bn after deal’s completion in March

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners saw €37.5 million (US$39.5 million) of its investment in the Professional Football League (LFP) spent on fees for the various parties who helped create the new French soccer commercial company, according to L’Equipe.

In March, clubs from the country’s top two divisions all agreed to the investment from CVC, which saw the company take a 13 per cent stake worth €1.5 billion (US$1.6 billion) in LFP’s commercial arm, which will coordinate the selling of broadcast rights. The LFP reportedly received €600 million (US$658 million) in July, with clubs in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 pocketing varying amounts of that total sum on a sliding scale.

The LFP said the deal at the time valued French soccer’s commercial business at €11.5 billion (US$12.6 billion).

In a highly competitive process, the Luxembourg-based firm beat out Hellman & Friedman, Oaktree Capital and Silver Lake for the stake. CVC’s sports investment portfolio also includes cricket, rugby union and volleyball, as well as other European soccer leagues.

L’Equipe now reports that some of CVC’s cash injection has gone towards paying off those involved in creating the new media business. Two investment banks in Lazard and Centerview were paid €12 million (US$12.6 million) each, while law firm Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier pocketed €5 million (US$5.3 million) for its work, the report says.

The French newspaper had previously reported that for completing the CVC transaction, LFP president Vincent Labrune, who also leads the new business, received a bonus of €3 million. His bonus was part of the remuneration CVC paid to the two banks and Darrois.

The remaining €8.5 million (US$8.9 million) was then spread out to pay 12 LFP employees, as requested by the club presidents for their efforts in sowing the seeds for the commercial arm.

CVC has also been mentioned as a potential bidder for a stake in the Bundesliga’s media right business, but it was recently reported that the German Football League (DFL) have delayed the process towards next year as clubs have yet to agree on key conditions for the transaction to take place.

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