Bali United players Paulo Sergio, Stefano Lilipaly and Willian Pacheco celebrate a goal in a match against rival Persija Jakarta at Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Gianyar, Bali, on Friday. (Antara Photo/Fikri Yusuf)

Bali United Set to Become Southeast Asia's First Football Club to Go Public

BY : I NYOMAN MARDIKA

APRIL 27, 2019

Jakarta. Bali United is set to become the first professional football club in Southeast Asia to go public, with an initial public offering planned for next month. 

The Gianyar-based club's foray into the capital marked also marks a key milestone in Indonesia's push to improve transparency and professionalism in its football industry, long plagued by corruption and mismanagement.  

Bali Bintang Sejahtera, the company behind the football club, plans to sell a third of its enlarged capital and to list the shares on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX).

"Until now, we have always been asked to be more transparent and bring everyone closer together," said Yabes Tanuri, chief executive of Bali United.

"By going public, anyone can become a Bali United shareholder. We can become like a family, backing each other up. Be proud to guard, proud to be together, and also proud to own [the club]," Yabes said.

The company seeks between Rp 310 billion and Rp 350 billion ($22 million-$24 million) in fresh capital to expand its business. It plans to use about 19 percent of the proceeds for capital expenditure, to expand the club's sports and academic facilities. About 60 percent will be used as working capital, including the recruitment of coaches and players. The remainder will go toward strengthen the capital structures of subsidiaries. 

Bali United is one of few football clubs in Indonesia that have raised funding independently of local government sponsorships. It also has an established football academy, to develop young talent, and a merchandise store, the largest of its kind in the country.

Among Bali Bintang Sejahtera's subsidiaries are sports agencies, which deal with sponsorships, manage match video streaming and produce advertising videos for sponsors. The company also has a subsidiary that manages cafés and restaurants, and another that operates a radio station.

Bali United will follow in the footsteps of only a few international clubs, such as AS Roma, Juventus, Lazio, Borussia Dortmund, Celtic, Arsenal and Manchester United, that have gone public in recent years.

Timeline

The club has appointed Buana Capital Securities and Kresna Sekuritas to underwrite its IPO. Book building will take place between April 26 and May 7 to gauge investor interest.

The company expects to secure approval from the Financial Services Authority (OJK) on May 15.

The public offering is scheduled for May 17-21 and Bali Bintang Sejahtera hopes to list the club's shares on the IDX by May 27, under the BOLA ticker symbol. 

Bali Bintang Sejahtera's prospectus shows moderate financial performance, having booked net income of Rp 4.75 billion last year – an almost tenfold increase from the previous year – after repaying debt to affiliated parties and selling its holdings in several mutual funds. 

Revenue has doubled to Rp 115.2 billion after the club managed to both increase visitor numbers and ticket prices at its Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium.

The company also saw an increase in sponsorships after Bali United joined the Asian Football Confederation and finished as runner-up in Liga 1 – Indonesia's top-tier professional league – in 2017.

Bali United finished in 11th place in Liga 1 in the 2018 season.

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