While it has 10 rounds left in the Brazilian Championship to seek a spot in Libertadores 2023, Atlético-MG will close the year already in the advanced process of becoming a club-company, through Law 14.193/21. The only thing missing is the “yes” from the Council, which should come in December via a meeting at the administrative headquarters.
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O ge talked to sources behind the scenes at Galo and raised some points about the Sociedade Anônima do Futebol (SAF) within the club, a natural and inevitable path, to the point that Atlético’s board has already exchanged documents with possible investors.
The alvinegra leadership was encouraged by the sale of 90% of Bahia to the City Group for R$ 1 billion. The Rooster will be worth more, but nothing unrealistic. The big difference is that Atlético will negotiate to receive the contribution of the future investor in the short term, very different from the 15 years that the Arab conglomerate signed with the Bahian club.
SAF is hot at Atlético, but there is still a long way to go, especially with the participation of the Deliberative Council. The body even elects its new president this Monday, Ricardo Guimarães, for the triennium 2023/2025, a period of Galo already as a club-company and also in the new home, Arena MRV, to be inaugurated in March.
Atlético’s crest at the MRV Arena — Photo: Publicity/Arena MRV
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See some open and closed points of SAF in Galo
Atlético joined the SAF, but it is a process that still depends on the Council. At this stage, with the assistance of the consultancy E&Y and the bank BTG Pactual, it prepared a document along the lines of the study on the sale of the Diamond Mall, to be presented to the market and to potential interested parties in SAF do Galo.
The PSG president and Fenway Sports Group (Liverpool’s controller) were speculated as possible buyers, but were not in the running. In addition, the value that would be worth 100% of Atlético SAF – and, from that, know the proportional value of 90%, 70%, 60% or 50.1% – which are possible slices to be negotiated.
O ge found that the documents that Atlético presented to the market tell a little about the history and context of Galo, a club founded almost 115 years ago, and current champion of the Brazilian and Copa do Brasil, as well as the prospects for revenue and billing, and the short, medium and long term, from a financial and sporting point of view.
There was good market interest in having access to the material, via a confidentiality agreement, but, in a few weeks, the real potential buyers were filtered out, and this number, today, is below 10 possible investors, who need to have a know-how profile -how of entertainment along the lines of US sports, and also knowledge of football as investment funds in Europe are.
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The most recent examples from Brazilian football point to the sale of 90% of SAF shares to investors. It was like that with Botafogo, Cruzeiro and Bahia, each one with a different value. Vasco will sell 70%. It is not the scenario that Atletico thinks is ideal, although it is the market that determines such percentage.
When Atlético becomes SAF in the Council, it will own 100% of the shares, but with the investor already in place. The ideal, in Galo’s view, would be to maintain at least 40%, and a more encouraging scenario of the civil association being the minority partner with 49.9%. The logic indicates that any owner who comes to invest millions (or billions?) of reais in Atlético wanted to be the controller – majority partner with at least 50.1% of the shares.
It is worth remembering that the civil association, according to the SAF Law, must hold at least 10% of the shares. And it has veto power if the majority member wants to change the symbols and other aspects of the club’s identity (shield, shirt, colors, anthems).
The Deliberative Council will have a new president – Ricardo Guimarães – as of this Monday. He will lead the body’s meetings to discuss the SAF. Atlético announced its adherence to the club-company law. But it takes the “ok” from the Council. There is no forecast in the budget, but this official adhesion of the CD should take place in a vote, with the need for 2/3 of the total number of counselors typing “yes”.
The fact is that, after becoming Atlético SAF, and closing the agreement with the future investor, the club returns to the Deliberative Council, which, then, will need to approve the sale of any percentage of the club-company, with an equal need of 2/3 approval regarding the sale of Galo’s properties.
The Atlético Council will meet in November to vote on the budget. However, the current forecast is that there will be a specific SAF membership meeting in December 2022.
Meeting of Atlético’s Deliberative Council — Photo: Bruno Sousa/CAM
In the negotiation between Atlético and the investor, there is control of football in the SAF, and the discussion whether the fixed assets will enter the sale. The club-company will own the percentages of the economic rights of the players, but they will not necessarily become owners of Cidade do Galo, the administrative headquarters of Lourdes, the future Arena MRV (with a value of R$ 1 billion), and other tangible properties. The initial idea is for Atlético to keep its immovable assets.
Atlético is also in the process of completing the sale of the remaining 49.9% of Diamond Mall. Multiplan, owner of 50.1%, exercised the full acquisition preference. It will pay R$ 340 million. It is necessary to close the procedures at CADE, something that will happen in November. Galo will receive a first installment of R$136 million, and the remainder (R$240 million) over 12 months.
The money will all be used to reduce Atlético’s onerous debt, which is currently in the range of R$500 million – R$600 million. The rest is tax installments, and debts with the R’s. The future owner of Atlético’s SAF is expected to inherit gross debt between R$700 million and R$800 million, most of which are loans from supporters Ricardo Guimarães, Rafael and Rubens Menin, which are not ruled out be “exchanged” partially for smaller % of the future SAF.
Atlético’s debt profile at the end of 2021 — Photo: Reproduction/Atlético-MG
The values proposed by the City Group for 90% of Bahia’s SAF shares encouraged Atlético’s leaders, who expect to make proportionally higher sales. In Bahia, however, the contribution will be diluted in 15 years. Galo wants future receivables from SAF shares to be invested in a much shorter period of time.
The BRL 1 billion that City Group promises to inject into Bahia is divided into three points: BRL 500 million in the purchase of players, BRL 300 million for debt payment, and another BRL 200 million for infrastructure, base category and flow Of box.
Atlético intends to become SAF, at the latest, in January 2023, and will take advantage of the transfer window that will open on January 11 to make the conversions of the professional contracts of the players and the coaching staff in the new molds, in the BID of the CBF.
It is an issue that obviously impacts the investor’s presence and his plans for Atlético’s football next year, as well as the maintenance of parts and, of course, the coach Cuca himself, who has a contract at Galo only until the end of 2022. .
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Galo na Veia – Atlético-MG Membership Program — Photo: Disclosure