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Bundesliga clubs reject private equity investment bid of €2 billion for media rights

DFL failed to win a majority in recent club voting on the sale of media rights

Bundesliga clubs have once again rejected the ambitious plan of the German Football League (DFL) to sell their stake in the Bundesliga's media rights business to a private equity firm.

For quite some time now, the DFL has been trying to sell its stake in Bundesliga's media rights deal business to a private equity firm. Bundesliga currently generates €170 million from international broadcasting annually while Premier League generates a staggering €1.6 billion annually.

The Bundesliga has struggled commercially, which has led the DFL to sell its broadcasting rights to private equity firms to follow the same path as France and Spain.

A meeting was held on May 24 for voting on this proposal between members of Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) and members of clubs. A majority vote of 36 top-tier clubs of the Bundesliga and second-tier Bundesliga was needed for DFL to approve its proposed plan.

However, only 20 clubs voted for the proposed plan, while 11 clubs voted against it and 5 clubs did not vote. 24 votes were needed to continue discussions, but DFL failed to secure a majority.

After the meeting, Borussia Dortmund chief executive and DFL supervisory board head Hans-Joachim Watzke said: 

“The majority of the clubs voted in favour of the project, but it was four votes less than the two-thirds majority desired by the DFL executive committee, and to continue the talks with the investors,” 

If the proposed plan had succeeded, Bundesliga would have generated €2 billion through the sale of a 12.5 percent stake in the media rights business. DFL received offers from CVC, Blackstone and Advent International to buy the stake.

Based on the proposed DFL plan, €2 billion would've been split 40-60 percent between clubs and DFL. 

The 40 percent would've been allocated to the League to expand and generate digital content. 60 percent would've been allocated to clubs to develop infrastructure and youth.

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