Bloomberg — The majority of Brazil’s top professional football clubs are set to sign an agreement with investors that could end a fight between rival leagues wrestling for control of the sport in the country.
Under the agreement, Brazil-based Life Capital Partners and Serengeti Asset Management will purchase a 20% stake in the commercial rights of the participating teams for 50 years, according to a statement from the investors on Wednesday.
The deal will value the stake at $500 million, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information.
Despite the historic successes of Brazil’s national team, its domestic football leagues have been dogged by years of financial mismanagement, while its clubs have consistently sold their best players to richer European teams. In an attempt to change things, local teams have explored the creation of a league structure that can keep top football talent in the country for longer and attract foreign investment through the sale of lucrative broadcast rights.
About 25 teams have already signed up to the proposal set out by Life Capital Partners, according to the statement. The group is also set to include major teams Botafogo, Cruzeiro and Vasco da Gama, which were part of a rival league project called Libra that planned to give a larger share of revenue to bigger clubs.
Libra has been backed by the investment arm of Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co. Botafogo, Cruzeiro and Vasco have been keen to help Libra and LFF reach a compromise and assuage the concerns of some smaller clubs about the criteria for splitting broadcast revenue, Bloomberg reported earlier this year.
The new deal is similar in structure to those signed in European football, where CVC has taken stakes in the media rights in Ligue 1 in France and La Liga in Spain.
LCP is an independent asset management firm based in Brazil, founded by entrepreneurs and investors Wilson de Lara, Carlos Gamboa and Joao Leitao. New York-based Serengeti, founded in 2007 by Jody LaNasa, made a shift toward private investments in late 2021, a move that saw it shutter its public-credit fund. Amid that pivot, head of structured credit Jay Eisbruck and Raza Mujtaba, who ran public investments, also left the firm.
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