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Valencia

After playing this Sunday against Club Deportivo Marchamalo de Guadalajara, Intercity, a football team that plays in the RFEF Second Division -the fourth category of Spanish football-, will become the first to be listed on the stock exchange next week.

An exit to the parquet of the secondary market BME Growth that has in the mind of its main promoter, Salvador Martí, even before he took over the San Juan de Alicante football club in 2017. A team that had not left the categories regional in its 80 years of history and to which Martí changed its name and its colors to those of the renewed Intercity.

“Something that may seem crazy”, as Martí himself recognizes, and that has more to do with his own experience with Facephi, the facial recognition technology company that he created almost a decade ago with another Alicante, Javier Mira, than with his knowledge of football. Both have already managed to convince a group of investors to take to the then Alternative Stock Market a newly born company that was still developing its biometric solutions and had not made a single sale.

Facephi managed to survive the earthquake caused by the Gowex case and the doubts it generated about other values ​​that were initially based more on the potential of its technology than on the income statement. The young Alicante company went on the market in 2014 valued at 12.2 million. Today its capitalization exceeds 67 million euros. But above all, it has consolidated an annual business of more than 7 million euros, with large banks among its clients and with a presence in Latin America and Asia.

A game day

Martí himself, who declares himself not a football fan and a supporter of Hercules de Alicante and Real Madrid, explains that the idea of ​​investing in football came up with his partner Javier Mira while they were attending a Hercules match, which was being promoted to Second Division and its future. “We thought that if the 25,000 people who were in the stands contributed they could end the club’s debt through a capital increase. But the problem in football is that later, when someone wants to leave, their shares are not liquid, and that is one of the advantages of being on the stock market “.

Based on that idea, both partners decided to study whether it was feasible to list a club in Spain and took over the San Juan regional team with a very clear objective: to reach the Second Division, currently LaLiga SmartBank, where the income from rights television channels are sufficient for the sports society to be profitable and, therefore, sustainable. “It is about getting to the Second Division as soon as possible and making money, if the ball enters and we are close to promotion we understand that the shares will rise and if the ball hits the stick and goes out we move away from the promotion and the price will fall”, he summarizes the president of Intercity. At the moment, in four seasons they have added three category promotions.

The two entrepreneurs were convincing new investors, so that of the 25 in the first year they have grown to about 400, with a widely distributed capital. Martí, also president of CF Intercity, is the first shareholder with just over 10%. Today on its board of directors are businessmen such as Perfecto Palacio, president in Alicante of the Valencian regional employer CEV, and Lorenzo Serratosa, CEO of the financial firm ZonaValue, who also wants to be listed on Euronext.

“There are many things that being the first to list we do not know how they will be. For example, what to consider a relevant event in football”

Martí is clear that despite focusing on the business and management level and separating it from the sporting part, football has an emotional component that is difficult to measure that will put a strain on the price when the sporting results are not good. “In the company no one questions a product decision. Here, yes, if you sign a player everyone has an opinion because everyone knows about football.”

Intercity, whose securities will start trading next week on BME Growth, is clear that their securities will have high volatility due to this dependence on what happens on the pitch. The company’s shares will start trading at 1.2 euros, which will mean a valuation of almost 5 million euros. That is the price of the latest capital increases and what the partners estimate that they have invested in Intercity over the years.

“There are many things that being the first to quote we do not know how they will be. For example, what to consider a relevant event in football: is an injury to a footballer? Does it depend on how long he cannot play?” Martí comments. The president of Intercity ensures that many other clubs are awaiting its evolution. “If it works out as we expect, we will be at a financial advantage over the others, if it works, others will have to get on this car so as not to be out of the game.”

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