Spain’s La Liga Agrees to Sell 10% to CVC in $3 Billion Deal

The top soccer league in Spain, home to Barcelona and Real Madrid, has agreed to sell a 10% stake to CVC Capital Partners for about $3 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The agreement between La Liga and CVC, which already has deep ties to sports, would help buoy the finances of clubs pummeled by the pandemic. They include Barcelona, which is trying to re-sign its superstar, Lionel Messi, as it also attempts to restructure its debt.

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A representatives for La Liga declined to comment. A spokesman for CVC, whose sports portfolio includes the Six Nations Championship, Europe’s top national team rugby competition, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the deal, which was first reported by the New York Times.

A majority of the teams in Spain’s first and second division would need to approve the deal for it to be completed.

Negotiations have been kept to a small group because of the possibility the deal might not be completed, said the person, who was granted anonymity because the matter is private.

CVC had entertained a similar investment with the top Italian soccer league, Serie A, for a piece of its media rights entity. Negotiations ended without a deal earlier this year.

The talks come on the heels of attempts by a number of Europe’s top teams, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, to form a so-called Super League in order to capitalize on those clubs’ ability to generate revenue. The initial attempt to forget the breakaway midweek club competition collapsed in April after word leaked.

CVC previously owned the Formula 1 auto racing circuit, which was sold to Liberty Media in 2017.