Liga de Futebol Brasileiro (Libra), one of Brazil’s two newly founded soccer leagues, has agreed to sell 20% of the league’s commercial rights for $971 million to Mubadala Capital Ventures. The contract comes after months of negotiations managed by Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual and Codajas Sports Kapital.
Libra has 90 days to respond to Mubadala’s offer. The league’s goal is to have at least 16 first division teams on board with receiving Mubadala’s investment. However, Libra does not need to have every club to commercialize the league.
People familiar with the deal told Sportico that Mubadala was one of three investment companies clubs that made an official bid for the rights. The other two were U.S.-based private equity firms.
“Centralizing the product in a cohesive way, with proper governance and a best-in-class management team, will create alignment across a diverse group of clubs, which will over time ensure value maximization across all of their commercial properties,” Juan Arciniegas, managing director and head of sports, business & entertainment investments at 777 Partners, told Sportico.
Arciniegas, who owns Vasco de Gama soccer club, was a member of Libra’s finance committee, representing Vasco in the negotiations. “As a result, we expect broadcasting and commercial revenues to materially increase in the next cycle and beyond, lifting the competitiveness of the league and its member clubs.”
Mubadala Capital’s parent company is Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Company (MIC), which has an extensive portfolio in sports and media, including Yes Network, Endeavor, SportRadar, the FIM Supercross World Championship, and the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic WTA 500-level tennis tournament. The firm has also invested in multiple Abu Dhabi-based companies that sponsor last year’s English Premier League champion, Manchester City.
Mubadala Capital owns the controlling stake in Rio de Janeiro-based IMX Sports and Entertainment, which operates Maracanã Stadium and the Rio Open Tennis tournament.
“The formation of a league will be truly transformational for Brazilian football,” Arciniegas said.
Libra is formed by first-division clubs Flamengo, Corinthians, Palmeiras, Santos, Sao Paulo, Vasco, Botafogo, Gremio, and Cruzeiro, Guarani, Ituano, Novorizontino, Ponte Preta, Red Bull Bragantino from the second division. LFF consists of 25 clubs, mainly from the second division.
The only team that has yet to join any groups is Esporte Club Bahia, which City Football Group recently bought.
After a transition in 2023-2024 season, Libra will be fully operational from 2025, people familiar with the matter told Sportico. One question remains: Will Libra and LFF come to a consensus to create a league with 40 clubs?