Oaktree submits bid to invest in Serie A media business, sources say

Serie A - Torino v Napoli
Soccer Football - Serie A - Torino v Napoli - Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, Turin, Italy - March 19, 2023 Napoli fans celebrate after the match REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

MILAN, March 31 (Reuters) - Investment fund Oaktree (OAK_pa.N) has submitted a preliminary non-binding offer to invest 1.75 billion euros ($1.90 billion) into the media business of Italy's Serie A soccer league, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Serie A's media business, which mainly consists of the broadcast rights for live matches, has drawn interest from international banks including JP Morgan , as well as private equity investors at a time when Italian clubs are looking at ways to boost revenue.

Oaktree would structure the proposed investment through a combination of debt and cash which would imply an enterprise value for the company managing Serie A's media rights of 15 billion euros, the people said.

The Oaktree investment would comprise a debt tranche worth 1 billion euros and 750 million euros of cash in return for a 5% stake in a venture managing the media arm.

The proposal would be subject to a lock-up period of five years, the sources added, asking not to be named because the proposal is not public.

Serie A, which on Friday said it will hire a financial adviser to study approaches from private equity firms and banks, declined to comment. Oaktree also declined to comment.

Oaktree previously provided a 275 million euro loan to Inter Milan in 2021 to help the club weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

($1 = 0.9208 euros)

Reporting by Elvira Pollina Editing by Keith Weir

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