Barcelona said on Thursday that it has paid the American investment firm Sixth Street 207.5 million euros ($215.5 million) to purchase 10% of the Liga broadcast rights for 25 years.
Sixth Street will make an initial investment of €207.5 million and will receive 10% of the Club’s LaLiga TV rights for the following 25 years, according to a statement from Barca.
The agreement will enable Barcelona, which is struggling financially, to finish the fiscal year, which ends on Thursday, in the black.
Otherwise, Barca “would have closed the financial year with a loss of 150 million euros,” according to the Catalan sports newspaper Sport.
According to the club release, “with this purchase, FC Barcelona generates a total capital gain of €267 million for the current season.”
Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, and Barcelona declined to participate in a January agreement with another American fund, CVC, to purchase between 8 and 11% of the broadcasting and commercial rights for the top two Spanish divisions for 50 years.
Real Madrid and Sixth Street and Legends, dubbed “a premium experiences company for sports and live venue organizations,” agreed in May to share 30 percent of revenue from “sports and live venue organizations” at the redeveloped Bernabeu Stadium for 20 years for 360 million euros.
After taking over as president of Barcelona the year before, Joan Laporta announced in August of last year that an audit had revealed 1.35 billion euros in total club indebtedness. Last June, the club allowed Lionel Messi to go after claiming they could not afford to pay him his full wage.
In a statement on Thursday, Laporta praised his club’s agreement.
“We are utilizing economic levers and implementing our methodical, long-term, and effective plan to improve the club’s financial standing,” he declared.
Alan Waxman, CEO of Sixth Street, was also mentioned in the statement.
Waxman stated, “We are honored that one of the most illustrious football teams has selected us to be its partner and financial solutions provider. We believe in the plan Joan Laporta and FC Barcelona are executing.
One of two “levers” adopted last week by a meeting of club members to raise money swiftly so Barcelona could make signings for the upcoming season was the selling of broadcast rights.
Laporta can still look for a buyer for the remaining 15% of the television rights income because the assembly approved the transfer of up to 25% of the income for up to 25 years.
The sale of 49.9% of its licensing and merchandising division, BLM, was also approved by the members.
“We’ll have positive funds once more, “When he requested the members to support the measures, Laporta informed them.
“We will be able to make the required expenditures to make our teams more competitive, and we will be able to return our debt reasonably.”
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