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Serie A may revive media stake sale plan but only with higher valuation - Agnelli

Serie A may revive media stake sale plan but only with higher valuation - Agnelli

FILE PHOTO: European Club Association (ECA) Chairman Andrea Agnelli attends a news conference after the 23rd ECA General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

MILAN: Italy's Serie A soccer league may consider reviving a plan to sell a stake in its media business only if potential bidders offered to pay more following the success of its domestic TV rights tender, Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli said.

Serie A has been in talks for months with a consortium including CVC Capital Partners, Advent International and Italian fund FSI, which offered 1.7 billion euros for a 10per cent stake in a unit managing the Italian league's media business.

But the plan floundered after seven clubs, including Juventus and Inter Milan, moved against the deal, citing a better than expected response to the tender awarding Serie A's domestic TV rights..

"The value that Serie A delivered with the tender of the main package of TV rights means that, should a project like that be revived, it would have to review the valuation at which (the investors) value Serie A in order just to be considered. That would be my position," Agnelli told Reuters in an interview.

He said the matter concerned all 20 Serie A clubs.

"It is not something that we can do alone," he said.

Agnelli dismissed as "speculation" accusations that Juventus blocked the stake sale because it was not consistent with the European Super League project the Turin-based club was pursuing.

"It is not something that Juventus stopped alone," he said referring to the Serie A deal.

Asked whether the European Super League was an obstacle to that project, he said: "No, absolutely not. They were two different things running in parallel".

Juventus have been one the founding members of a European Super League project, which has collapsed after eight of the 12 clubs involved from England, Italy and Spain abandoned the breakaway project under massive pressure from fans, politicians and soccer officials.

After the announcement of the breakaway league, Agnelli stepped down as head of the European Club Association.

"I would look at the glass half full: this will give me time to focus everything on Juventus alone, which is my love", he said.

"In terms of our club, we can focus on the next objective which will be winning the UEFA Champions League."

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: Reuters


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