(Bloomberg) -- FC Barcelona, one of Spain’s top football clubs, has reached an agreement to sell an additional 24.5% of its audiovisual content hub, Barca Studios, in a further effort to shore up its battered finances.
Orpheus Media, a firm managed by Mediapro co-founder Jaume Roures, has agreed to pay 100 million euros ($103 million) to buy the stake in the team’s unprofitable digital content arm, Barcelona said in a statement on Friday. The divestment comes two weeks after crypto platform Socios.com bought another 24.5% for the same amount.
The storied club is looking for more funds so that it can comply with the LaLiga national competition’s financial fair play rules and register new players, including Polish striker Robert Lewandowski and Brazilian winger Raphinha. The divestment of the Barca Studios stake is part of what President Joan Laporta defined as the financial “levers” the club can use to help its balance sheet recover.
Barcelona reported a 481 million-euro loss and debts and future liabilities of 1.35 billion euros, meaning it was only able to sign new players by slashing the current squad’s salaries, boosting income or cutting expenses.
Before divesting a 49% in the hub, it sold 25% of its media rights for 25 years to San Francisco-based investment firm Sixth Street Partners.
DBRS Morningstar gave Barcelona’s debt a BBB rating with a stable outlook, citing measures taken by the new board to improve the balance sheet, the club said in a release on Aug. 10. That’s one notch higher than the BBB- grade it had received from Fitch Ratings, which changed its outlook to negative due to “risks associated with the upcoming stadium refurbishment” on Aug. 5 and withdrew the rating “for commercial reasons.”
(Updates with length of agreement with Sixth Street in fifth paragraph, adding rating changes in last paragraph.)
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