Soccer-Italy's Agnelli family gives full backstop to Juventus cash call

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- Italy's Agnelli family has committed to back Juventus's JUVE.MI 200 million euro ($221 million) equity fundraising in full via the family's holding company Exor EXOR.AS, the cash-strapped Serie A soccer club said late on Thursday.

Netherlands-based Exor controls Juventus with a stake of around 64%. The holding company had committed to cover a proportion of the cash call matching that stake, worth up to 128 million euros, and has already almost entirely paid that sum.

As talks with banks over guaranteeing the remaining part of the deal reflected "difficult market conditions", Juventus said it had turned to Exor, which committed to buy potentially unsold new shares for a maximum amount of 72 million euros.

Exor will get a 1.8-million-euro fee for its role guaranteeing the deal, Juventus said. The club expects to complete the share sale by the end of April.

Exor's stake in the club might rise as a consequence of the fundraising, if others investors do not join in. Juventus did not specify what Exor might do with the potential extra shares it might acquire.

Exor is the single largest investor in automaker Stellantis STLAM.MI and Dutch group Philips PHG.AS and the controlling shareholder in companies including luxury sports car maker Ferrari RACE.MI, truck maker Iveco IVG.MI and farm and construction equipment maker CNH Industrial CNHI.MI.

Milan-listed Juventus is embroiled in a false accounting probe linked to player trading. The club has denied wrongdoing and says its accounting is in line with industry standards.

Citigroup and UniCredit are joint global coordinators for the fundraising.

($1 = 0.9042 euros)


(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari and Elvira Pollina
Editing by Alvise Armellini and Mark Potter)

((giulio.piovaccari@thomsonreuters.com))

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