June 11, 2020 / 7:34 PM / 2 months ago

Soccer-Bain seeks to trump CVC's Serie A deal with $3.4 bln rival bid - sources

MILAN/LONDON, June 11 (Reuters) - U.S. buyout fund Bain Capital has made a tentative offer for Italy’s top-flight soccer league as it seeks to trump a previous proposal by CVC Capital Partners, two sources told Reuters.

Bain wants a slice of the broadcasting rights business which is connected to the Serie A league and has offered about 3 billion euros ($3.39 billion) for a stake of about 25%, the sources said, cautioning no deal was certain.

The offer, first reported by Bloomberg, comes as the league’s clubs are desperate for cash to cope with growing challenges to the broadcasting rights business since the coronavirus crisis has prompted pay-TV companies to tighten their purse strings.

Serie A and Bain Capital declined to comment.

Bain’s proposal is triggering a bidding war with rival private equity firm CVC which recently set its sights on Serie A’s media rights.

CVC entered exclusive talks with Serie A in May for a deal that would see the European private equity firm secure up to 20% of a new company which would manage Serie A’s broadcasting rights for 10 seasons, Reuters reported.

CVC offered to invest up to 2.2 billion euros for a stake in the new company, sources have said.

$1 = 0.8840 euros Reporting by Elvira Pollina in Milan and Pamela Barbaglia in London, editing by Ed Osmond

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