City Football Group Bids on Brazil Soccer Club Bahia Esporte


City Football Group, the owner of Manchester City FC, has made an official bid to buy a 90% stake in Esporte Clube Bahia, a second division soccer club from Brazil, for $190 million (1 billion reals), according to a joint statement issued by the clubs.

CFG will pay the agreed amount in three installments: $93 million (500 million reals) to invest in players over 15 years, $56 million (300 million reals) for the club's debt payment and another $37 million (200 million reals) for infrastructure, according to a statement from Bahia Esporte. Full terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

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According to the Brazilian club structure, the board has two months to evaluate the proposed deal and send their decision to the team's 40,000 members so they can vote on the proposal during the club's general assembly. If the sale is approved, the club will create a separate entity as an investment vehicle, following Brazil's 2021 Sociedade Anonima de Futebol (SAF) law, which was established to encourage soccer clubs to be transformed into limited companies and to encourage investment in Brazilian clubs. CFG will join this company as a shareholder.

"We did a good job structuring the SAF," Bahia's president, Guilherme Bellintani, said during the presentation. "Now it's time to look forward with the same responsibility, caution, boldness and perseverance. The project will be discussed carefully and responsibly by the finance committee of the SAF, and then will be evaluated by the members."

The 91-year-old club currently plays in Serie B of the Brazilian national league after being relegated at the end of the 2021 season.

If members approve the sale, Bahia will become the 13th club in the CFG portfolio, which also includes New York City FC in MLS, Spain's Girona FC, ES Troyes AC in France and Italy's Palermo FC. Since being acquired by CFG, Girona and Troyes have been promoted to the first division of their respective leagues.

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