Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Foreign money floods into Brazilian soccer

Aug 29, 2022
Illustration of a soccer ball made out of a patchwork of different bill denominations.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A wave of foreign cash is flooding into Brazilian soccer teams in the year since the country allowed its clubs to accept outside investment, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: With some of the best players in the world, Brazil is becoming a soccer M&A hub and potential playground for billionaires hungry for a sports team.

State of play: Three clubs have already taken advantage of the new law, which was signed last August.

  • In December, the second-tier club Cruzeiro was sold to Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo. That was followed by sales of Botafogo and Vasco da Gama this year.
  • Abu Dhabi-based City Football Group, which already owns a stake in Manchester City and 10 other clubs, is in talks to buy Esporte Clube Bahia. The club's president, Guilherme Bellintani, told Brazilian media the deal's value is $126.4 million.
  • Investment bank BTG Pactual is advising two clubs, including Atlético Mineiro, the defending champion of Brazil's top league Série A, which is looking to sell a 51% stake in the team. BTG Pactual is also advising Rio de Janeiro's Fluminense.
  • Bankers told Reuters that other top clubs, including Corinthians and Palmeiras, could even go public.

What's next: Last May, the top teams in the country agreed to form a new league modeled after the Premier League in the hopes of getting more TV dollars, Reuters reported.

  • Brazil's TV Globo holds rights for most of the country's soccer teams as well as national team matches through 2024.
Go deeper