Sweden-based investor EQT has pulled out of the bidding process for Germany’s Bundesliga football media rights, a source with knowledge of the process told Reuters on Monday.
The reason for this decision, coming just two days before a German Football League (DFL) membership meeting, was the financial expectations of the DFL for selling the 12.5% stake but also doubts about whether investors can have sufficient influence.
EQT did not comment on the matter. Germany’s Bild newspaper had first reported on EQT’s withdrawal.
This now leaves the remaining offers from financial investors Advent, CVC and Blackstone.
The holding company that controls the media rights is valued at an estimated 15 to 18 billion euros ($16.5-$20 billion), according to sources.
The DFL needs a two-thirds voting majority to enter into any negotiations.
National soccer leagues in Europe are increasingly eyeing external funding around broadcasting arrangements as they look at ways to boost revenues and increase their global reach.
The Bundesliga is ranked as Europe’s second-biggest soccer league by revenue after England’s Premier League.
DFL began informally sounding out bidders last year, but delays in gaining consensus among German clubs resulted in the resignation of its former chief executive Donata Hopfen.
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