Infront media attracts private groups Wanda and Providence – FT

(Reuters) – U.S. private equity group Providence and two Chinese groups are considering possible bids for the Swiss sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media AG, the Financial Times reported, citing sources.

Shanghai-based commercial property company Wanda is one of the Chinese groups weighing bid for the marketing group Infront, that is led by Philippe Blatter, nephew of Sepp Blatter, head of soccer’s global governing body FIFA, the newspaper said.

Infront, which is managed by London-based private equity group Bridgepoint, is expected to be worth around 900 million euros, the FT said.

Private Equity Group TPG is also one of the firms that had considered an offer for the company, which later decided not to bid, the newspaper said, citing a source.

Infront, which distributes media rights to some of FIFA broadcast rights for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, is raising concerns among the buyers about its World Cup related rights, if there is a change in the FIFA leadership, the newspaper said.

Reuters reported in September that several investors have approached the Zug-based company, when it announced its plans for expansion.

Infront, which was bought by private equity firm Bridgepoint in 2011, will accept bids till the end of the week, the newspaper said.
Asset management firm Lazard is advising Infront on the potential sale, the newspaper said.

Wanda, Providence, Infront, Bridgepoint and Lazard could not be reached immediately for comment outside regular business hours.