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Juventus board approves cash call of up to 400 mln euros

MILAN, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Italian soccer club Juventus said on Wednesday its board had approved a capital increase of up to 400 million euros ($470 million) to help it cope with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Serie A team, like other clubs across Europe, has been badly hit by COVID-19, which has kept fans away from grounds and restricted marketing and merchandise opportunities.

“The capital increase... will help strengthen the company’s equity and balance funding resources to help achieve the strategic targets of the 2019-24 development plan which have been confirmed,” Juventus said in a statement on Wednesday.

Exor, the holding company of Italy’s Agnelli family that owns 63.8% of the club, has pledged to underwrite the cash call pro rata.

A shareholder meeting has been called for Oct. 29 to vote on the capital increase, which is expected to be completed by year end, the club said.

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Mediobanca and UniCredit CIB - joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners in the deal - have already agreed to underwrite any unsold shares.

Juventus was one of 12 top European soccer clubs which made a failed attempt in April to set up a breakaway European Super League. ($1 = 0.8516 euros) (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Jan Harvey)