Barça closes the financing of the Espai Barça | Sports

Barcelona already has the necessary money for the Espai Barça, the urban operation whose main objective is the remodeling of the Camp Nou. In the end, it has extracted 1,450 million euros from the financial markets that, except for the interest generated by the operation, it will not begin to pay until the stadium works have been completed and the club sees its income recover after its exile to the Olympic stadium from Montjuic. It is a real oxygen booster for the exhausted treasury of a club that is balancing to illuminate the ambitious urban project while trying to put together a team that can once again compete on the European front line.

The club does not offer details of the operation, beyond the fact that it has secured the necessary financing through five different tranches, which will each be paid in periods between five and 24 years, so that 35 are not exceeded. years of limit that set the assembly of delegates of Barça, and with the participation of twenty borrowers. Predictably, the first step to dress this financing will be executed through a five-year loan, which would be signed by the two main advisors of the Barça club, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, as explained by EL PAÍS. The rest of the operations would be carried out through debt placements acquired, mainly, by investment funds.

Once the necessary resources are obtained, the final works on the Camp Nou will be able to begin next June with the dismantling of the third tier. It is the commitment that had been reached with the Turkish construction company Limak as the only possibility for the first team to return home – until then it will play at the Lluís Companys stadium – at the end of 2025, although with a restricted capacity, because the works are still underway. will have to be completed.

The ambitious Espai Barça is not without risks. On the one hand, because the deadlines are very tight and there is mistrust about the ability of the Turkish construction company, with no business in Spain, to carry out the work on a schedule that no other construction company accepted and at a lower price (the works on the Camp Nou will cost 950 million euros) to which the three large Spanish construction companies that opted for the megaproject offered: Acciona, FCC and Ferrovial.

To this difficulty of meeting the schedule, the one that entailed the greatest risk according to the analysts in whom the club sought financial advice, is added the problem of paying for the entire operation of an entity that has repeated operating losses of around 200 million euros and that, in the last year, accumulated a debt of 1,000 million and desperately seeks to lower the salary mass of its soccer squad.

To find investors interested in the Barça project, Barça commissioned the Kroll credit agency to rate its financial situation, which it ended up placing at BBB, a note that advises investment, but does not consider the quality of that debt to be excellent. This assessment and the fact that Barcelona have sought financing at a time of rising interest rates and turbulence in the money markets, especially after the fall of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse, is another morsel for the financial situation of the club, which will pay interest rates that will never drop below 5.5%. Real Madrid, which has already advanced the works of the Santiago Bernabeu, obtained 575 million to start its remodeling at a rate of 2.5%. Barcelona will first pay the interest on the debt, waiting for the business of the new Spotify Camp Nou to grow and achieve the 247 million that the club estimates to reach.

You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.