Most important finance project in FC Barcelona history set in motion

Most important finance project in FC Barcelona history set in motion

Operation covers the whole of Espai Barça, including Spotify Camp Nou, the Palau Blaugrana and Campus, for a total of 1.45 billion euros

FC Barcelona announced at a press conference this Thursday afternoon that the financing of Espai Barça, the biggest financial project in the club's history, has been sealed at 1.45 billion euros. This operation, which was announced on April 24, guarantees that work on the new Spotify Camp Nou can commence this summer.

President Joan Laporta, the vice-president of the Economic Area, Eduard Romeu, corporate director, Maribel Meléndez, and financial director, Manel del Rio, explained in detail how Espai Barça, the shared dream of every Barça fan, will be financed, and how it will set a new benchmark for stadiums in the world.

This operation confirms, once again, the faith that the world's financial markets have in the club and the Spotify Camp Nou project, the epicentre of Espai Barça, and how it will ensure that FC Barcelona stays at the forefront of global sport, one of the pillars for the economic recovery and future viability of the club, and an instrument that will ensure that the more than 146,000 club members can remain its owners.

Major support in the referendum for the proposal to finance the Espai Barça

The agreement complies with the binding criteria approved in the referendum, where 87.8% of the members agreed that the Board of Directors can carry out whatever actions are necessary up to a maximum amount of 1.5 billion euros, without the club's equity or its stadium being jeopardised.

Espai Barça budget

The financing operation covers the complete Espai Barça project, which includes Spotify Camp Nou, the Palau Blaugrana and the Campus, for a total of 1.45 billion euros. Of this amount, approximately 1.07 billion correspond to Spotify Camp Nou and the Campus. The difference is available for investment in the Palau and other areas of the Espai Barça, subject to the members' approval.

The definition of the Palau Blaugrana project is advancing as planned.

2 years of planning

"The Espai Barça operation began when the current Board of Directors came into office two years ago", said Romeu.

For her part, Meléndez added that work began “from the very moment the referendum was approved. In January-February 2022 we were already visiting investors, and holding meetings with rating agencies. Nothing was improvised. We have worked so hard to promote the Barça brand that some of the investors have become members!"

Innovative financing structure

As well as meeting the criteria approved in the binding referendum, the agreement has also mitigated all construction, financial and commercial risks, while also guaranteeing that 100% of the construction costs and interests during the work will not mortgage the stadium, entail no debt guarantee from the club and will have zero affect on the club's decision-making powers, among other matters.

Return to investors, in three periods and with the income from the new stadium

During the press conference, it was also revealed how the return of the 1.45 billion euros is structured. There are different periods of 5, 7-9 (with a refinance option), and 20-24 years, an average net interest of 5.53%, and a flexible structure, including a grace period. Financial director Manel del Río pointed out that "external events such as the earthquake in Turkey and the crash in Silicon Valley are factors that have worked against us, and we are very grateful to our partners for their flexibility and for trying to improve the debt service as much as possible."

Closure of the deal went through three phases. First, settling the prices with the investors, then signing the financing agreements, while disbursement will be in May. The club will begin to repay the operation once the stadium work has finished, and using the revenue generated by Spotify Camp Nou itself, which is expected to be about 247 million euros.

Structured with a regulated fund

The financing structure is being channelled through the creation of a regulated fund, with the approval and regulation of the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), coverage of interest rates and exchange rates and with certain obligations that the club must meet, namely commercial targets, construction deadlines, goals in the stadium operations phase, and the fulfilment of income above 1.375 of the debt service.

Finally, the speakers praised the efforts of the members of the Board of Directors throughout the process, where they have been supported by such leading partners, such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, JLL, Pérez-Llorca, DLA Piper, Key Capital Partners, Legends and IPG 360, among others. The goal is to combine the experience and knowledge of the club's own staff with the best practices in the different fields associated with the Espai Barça project.


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