(Bloomberg) -- The owners of FC Porto have been considering the sale of a minority stake in the Portuguese soccer club after receiving interest from outside investors, according to people familiar with the matter.
They’ve been working with London-based sports advisory firm Certus Capital Partners to gauge the suitability of potential investors, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. Porto’s owners would only consider selling a minority interest, the people said.
Deliberations are ongoing and there’s no certainty Porto will decide to proceed with a stake sale, according to the people. A representative for Certus declined to comment, while spokespeople for Porto couldn’t immediately provide comment.
Porto is likely to attract interest from sovereign wealth funds and private equity firms, which have been pouring money into the sport. The U.K.’s Newcastle United FC was this month taken over by a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, while U.S. investor Peak6 Group LLC bought a minority stake in Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.
Porto ranks as one of the 20 best teams in Europe, based on results, according to European soccer’s governing body UEFA. The club won the prestigeous UEFA Champions League under coach Jose Mourinho in 2004 and made the quarter finals of the competition earlier this year.
With a strong following in northern Portugal, Porto regularly boosts its revenue from broadcasting, sponsorship and matchday tickets with the sale of its top players. In the last decade it has sold James Rodriguez to Monaco and Eliaquim Mangala to Manchester City for tens of millions of euros. The club is also betting on developing talent through its renowned youth soccer academy.Like other teams across Europe, Porto suffered the financial impact of the Covd-19 pandemic in 2020, with stadiums shut to help prevent the spread of the virus and clubs paring back their spending in the transfer market. As many as 100 of Europe’s pandemic-hit teams could move to access a new multibillion-euro loan fund being set up by UEFA, Bloomberg News reported last week.
Porto reported net profit of 33.4 million euros ($38.9 million) for the 2020-2021 season, compared with a 116 million-euro loss the over the previous pandemic-hit period. The club was boosted by reaching the quarter finals of the Champions League, with revenue increasing 76% to 153.6 million euros.
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