Real Madrid, the European soccer giant, has completed a transaction in which the American investment group Sixth Street will pay $380 million for 30% ownership in the team’s stadium operations.
The news came as executives grew increasingly optimistic that Real Madrid, a 13-time European champion, would be determined to finalize an agreement to sign Kylian Mbappé, one of the most highly prized players in the world, on a free transfer in a deal that could end up making him the highest-paid athlete in Real’s history.
All you need to know about Real Madrid’s new pact with Sixth Street
Real, which won its 35th Spanish title last month, would have no constraints on how it spent its money under the conditions of the pact. Real’s pursuit of Mbappé would be a coup after trying to convince his parent club, Paris St.-Germain, to pay as much as $200 million for him during the summer window. Real Madrid is the dominant force in Spanish soccer, and it will participate in the Champions League final against Liverpool next week.
With the exception of season-ticket sales, the relationship will endure for 20 years and will be managed through a joint venture that will hold all of Real’s in-stadium revenue. The move is the latest in Real’s efforts to diversify streams of revenue from its storied stadium, which is under a $1 billion renovation and will host games on a retractable field afterward.
The pact has some similarities to one struck by Spain’s top division, La Liga, with another investment company, CVC Capital Partners, which Real rejected. CVC agreed to pay more than $2 billion in exchange for about 10% of the league’s broadcast revenue for the next 50 years, a price that Real — as well as the league’s other best teams, Barcelona, and Athletic Bilbao — considered too exorbitant.