25 June 2004, Paris - Advent International, the global private equity firm, today announced the completion of its acquisition of Sportfive SA, the leading European sports rights agency, following the finalisation of the bank financing and the approval of the antitrust authorities.
Under the terms of the deal, funds managed by Advent International, RTL Group and Goldman Sachs have formed a new company to purchase all of the Sportfive shares held by RTL Group and Groupe Canal+. Funds managed by Advent International will be the major shareholders alongside RTL Group, funds managed by affiliates of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc, and the management.
The transaction has been completed on the basis of the price announced on 19 March 2004, i.e. 81,4 euros per share dividend attached, which has been adjusted for the payment of the ordinary and extraordinary dividends (paid on 16 June 2004) and or an amount paid to UFA Fernseh & Film and Groupe Canal+, which was agreed at the final stage of the negotiations. The average price of the transaction is 63.85 euros per share. In accordance with French stock market regulations, a public offer will be filed with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers following the closing of the transaction.
Jean-Claude Darmon, Chairman and former CEO of Sportfive, has decided to leave Sportfive. He will remain as Chairman of the Board of Sportfive until 15 July 2004.
Philip Cordes, currently Sportfive’s Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed as Group CEO of Sportfive, with responsibility for overseeing the integration of the whole group and its worldwide expansion. Philip has over ten years experience in the international sports rights market since joining UFA Film + Fernseh GmbH in 1992 and UFA Sports GmbH in 1996. Following the merger between UFA Sports GmbH, SEDS and Groupe Jean-Claude DARMON, which created Sportfive, he became Senior Vice President Television at Sportfive SA in Paris in December 2001, where he successfully built up the international television business. Most recently he served as Chief Operating Officer of the group.
Alain Krzentowksi, joins as General Manager of Sportfive SA. Alain has considerable experience of the sports market. He oversaw Savoie’s bid to hold the 1992 Olympic Games in Albertville and acted as a Special Advisor to co-Presidents Killy and Barnier from 1986 to 1992. From 1992 to 2000, Alain served as Chairman of ASO and TSO, organisers of the Tour de France; he also founded L'Equipe TV. He is a former Managing Director of the skiwear company Veleda Killy and co founder of the GO SPORT & COURIR brands.
Pascal Stefani, Director at Advent International in Paris, commented: “Sportfive provides us with a unique opportunity to invest in a sector with significant growth potential. We aim to leverage Sportfive’s leading position in European football and expand into new territories, events and sports.”
Georg Stratenwerth, Director at Advent International in Frankfurt, added: “Philip and Alain bring continuity and experience to the business, as well as fresh vision. We believe that they are the right people to help us achieve our collective ambition to become the world’s premier player in international sports rights marketing”.
Philip Cordes, Group CEO of Sportfive, commented: “Advent International’s financial support, its considerable experience in the media and broadcast sectors and its international reach will undoubtedly help us to achieve our ambition to become the global player in the sports rights market. I’m looking forward to working with them.”
Alain Krzentowski, new CEO of Sportfive SA commented: “The shareholders of this business have put their confidence in me to lead the Sportfive operation in France – to apply best practice moving forwards and to further integration across the group. I relish this challenge and am pleased to be working alongside this experienced team. “