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UPDATE 1-Juventus sounds out banks for potential capital hike - sources

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MILAN, June 28 (Reuters) - Italian Serie A club Juventus FC has sounded out banks as it considers a capital increase among options to boost its pandemic-stricken finances, two sources close to the matter said on Monday.

The Turin-based club’s financial needs might be in the range of 300-400 million euros ($356-$477 million), the sources said.

According to the sources, Juventus had reached out to BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, Mediobanca and UniCredit, the banks that arranged the club’s previous capital hike in 2019.

The club’s management is working on a plan to strengthen the balance sheet to be presented to the board, one of the sources said.

The contacts with the lenders were aimed at getting a feedback about the market’s response to a potential capital hike, the sources said, adding no decision was taken yet.

Like other soccer clubs in Europe, Juventus have been hard hit by the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prevented fans from attending matches and reduced marketing and merchandise opportunities.

Controlled by the Agnelli family, Juventus said in February it expected to end the 2020/2021 financial year in the red after recording a loss of 113 million euros in the first half.

Juventus was among 12 of Europe’s leading soccer clubs from England, Italy and Spain which announced a breakaway European Super League in April, a project which collapsed in acrimony less than 48 hours after it was launched following an outcry by fans, governments, players and managers.

All the parties involved declined to comment or were not immediately available to comment. ($1 = 0.8390 euros) (Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro, Valentina Za, Elisa Anzolin, Elvira Pollina; Editing by Francesca Landini and Alison Williams)

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