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Volume 6 No. 212


Neymar "has only been with Barcelona for half a season, but his numbers on and off the field are making him stand out," according to SPORT. Brazilian sports business consulting firm Pluri Consultoria "recently published a list of the most valuable Brazilian footballers, with Neymar leading the way." Neymar has increased his value from '12 by 22.5% to €67.4M ($92.2M). Rounding out the "top five most valuable Brazilian footballers are Zenit St. Petersburg's Hulk, Paris St. Germain's Thiago Silva and Chelsea's Willian and Oscar." Click here for Pluri's full list (SPORT, 12/21).

Most Valuable Brazilian Footballers
Neymar Barcelona $92.2 +22.5%
Hulk Zenit St. Petersburg $63.2 +17.3%
Thiago Silva Paris St. Germain $50.5 -8.9%
Willian Chelsea $49.8 +43.3%
Oscar Chelsea $45.7 +.9%
Lucas Moura Paris St. Germain $45.4 -11%
Ramires Chelsea $42.9 -1.9%
Fernandinho Man City $40.2 +107%
Marcelo Real Madrid $38.7 -10.2%
David Luis Chelsea $37.5 +13.2%

F1 could be set for a multi-billion dollar sale or flotation in the New Year "after the sport’s biggest private equity owner, CVC capital partners, failed to buy IMG," according to Ben Harrington of the London DAILY MAIL. Sources said that CVC -- one of the largest investors in F1 -- "had put a flotation or sale of the business ‘on hold’ while it was trying to buy IMG." But after losing the bidding war to buy IMG last week to Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, sources said that CVC "is likely to pull the trigger" on either a sale of its 35% stake in F1 or a flotation of the business in '14. Throughout this year, CVC "has been working with several banks on a possible sale or float of Formula 1" (DAILY MAIL, 12/21).

Nike's Q2 profit "jumped 40%, with a surge in Western Europe sales, as well as growth in North America and greater China, helping to drive" results, according to Michael Calia of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The company for the quarter ended Nov. 30 "reported a profit" of $537M, or 59 cents a share, up from $384M, or 57 cents a share, a year earlier. The year-ago period included a $137M loss "from discontinued operations." Revenue "rose 8%" to $6.43B. Nike "continued to benefit from strong demand in the U.S. and several international markets." Its "continued success with product launches amid a tight environment for consumers also has helped, earning plaudits from market observers." Nike said that overall revenue for the brand "rose 9% in the period, excluding currency fluctuations, with growth coming from every product type, geography and key category," and that North American operations "posted a 9.2% revenue increase, while its Western Europe segment's sales surged 18%." Nike brand "future orders -- an indicator of coming growth -- grew 4% in China and 1% excluding currency impacts." Worldwide future orders "increased 12%, compared with growth of 6% in the same period a year ago" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/20). In Portland, Allan Brettman wrote revenues for Converse were $360M in Q2, up 11% on a currency-neutral basis, "driven by strong performance in the company's largest owned markets: North America, the United Kingdom, and China." Nike's selling and administrative expenses grew 14% to $2.1B. Demand creation expense was $691M, up 13% "versus relatively low levels in the prior year, driven by marketing support for key product launches, consumer running events and upcoming global sporting events, including" the 2014 World Cup and Sochi Games (Portland OREGONIAN, 12/20). Shares of Nike closed trading at $77.34 on Friday, down 1.18% from the close of business on Thursday (SBD Global).

La Liga side Valencia President Amadeo Salvo said on Sunday that "Singapore businessman Peter Lim was interested in buying the financially troubled club," according to the AP. Salvo: "Peter Lim's offer is amazing." The Valencia president said that the offer "includes paying off Valencia's debt and money to spend on new players." Salvo said that Lim placed a "deadline of Jan. 15 for the club and its creditors to decide." Salvo said, "The club has to sell for a price between 200 and 250 million euros ($273.5M-341.8M). The new investor has to eliminate the debt we have with the bank, invest in players, promise to finish the new stadium and to let the club be run by the people of Valencia. Lim's offer meets all these requirements." Lim has a "net worth of $2.05 billion, according to Forbes." Valencia is "one of seven Spanish clubs being investigated by the European Union for allegedly receiving illegal public aid" (AP, 12/23).

LONG SEARCH POSSIBLY OVER: In Madrid, Fernando Álvarez wrote "Salvo has looked for a Valencia investor for months and seems to have found one thanks to player agent Jorge Mendes." During the search, "together with Valencia Marketing Dir Luis Dowens, who has connections with Mendes, they learned of Lim's interest." Those who "have been taking part in the negotiations" indicated that Lim's "initial investment" will be €400M ($546.9M), with which he will "buy shares, pay off Bankia, finish off the stadium and invest in the team." Earlier in the year, Lim "held talks with Atlético Madrid, though in the end nothing came of it" (MARCA, 12/22).