RCS Sport, organiser of the Giro d'Italia, set to be sold
RCS Sport could be sold for a reported €80m as its parent group looks to minimise its debts
The Giro d'Italia, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo could be sold soon, according to Italian newspaper Milano Finanza.
A report on Tuesday said that RCS Mediagroup is trying to find a buyer for its sports group to minimise its €440m (£312m) debt and could make a decision as early as Thursday.
RCS Sport stands second in the race organisation business behind ASO, which counts the Tour de France, Paris-Nice and Paris-Roubaix in its portfolio. RCS Sport has 10 races, including the Giro d'Italia, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo; it also organises basketball games and marathons.
According to the article that appeared on the front page of Tuesday's newspaper, RCS Mediagroup has been trying for months to ally with potential buyers or groups. What is new, however, is that they may free themselves of RCS Sport and Unidad Editorial, the Spanish media group that publishes newspaper Marca and other titles, to limit its debt with banks.
Instead, RCS Mediagroup would focus its attention on Corriere della Sera, Italy's longest running newspaper, and leading sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
When contacted by Cycling Weekly, RCS Sport general manager Paolo Bellino rejected the claims that the company would be sold.
"I can't comment on it," he said. "The news isn't true, I don't know anything about it."
Alex Dowsett shares his knowledge with a beginner rider
It is unclear if RCS Mediagroup has buyers available or not. A decision could come soon as the board members are due to meet tomorrow at its Milan headquarters.
RCS Sport could fetch a reported €80m, with the company reportedly turning over €45m and losing €782,000 (£32m and £555,000) in 2014.
ASO reportedly inquired about buying RCS Sport two years ago, a suggestion Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme laughed off. If so, it would make the biggest organiser bigger. ASO counts around 19 races, including the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
It has not been the best of times for Italy and RCS. Italy is still struggling to overcome the Eurozone Crisis, which the Mediagroup's situation reflects, and RCS Sport is still coming to grips with an internal scandal that saw £9.2m go missing and sports manager Michele Acquarone fired.
Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.
POC Ventral Tempus MIPS Review - A helmet for riding in the rain, and being seen
Bright, light and comfortable, but not cheap
By Tyler Boucher • Published
British cyclist treated a sick goat before medalling at national championships
Veterinary student Phoebe Barker was asked to lend a hand on the farm where she was staying before her race
By Tom Davidson • Published