By Jeffrey Smith
Investing.com – US private equity group Silver Lake has raised its stake in the parent company of English soccer champion Manchester City, the latest in a string of big bets on global sport.
According to the Financial Times, the group bought a 4.1% stake in City Football Group from China Media Capital, raising its stake to 14.1% and making it the group’s second largest shareholder after United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al. Nahyan.
Accordingly, Shanghai-based CMC’s share fell to 8.2% and appears to be falling into a pattern of gradual withdrawal by Chinese investors from cups assets in the entertainment sector, as the domestic economic slowdown is straining the finances of some.
CFG has deployed its probes widely across world football in the past two years, taking advantage of faltering valuations forced by the pandemic and the loss of ticket revenue on many clubs. In the past two years, CFG has added a majority stake in Italy’s Palermo FC, Belgium’s SK Lommel and France’s ESTAC Troyes to a portfolio that already includes the MLS franchise New York City FC and other clubs in Sichuan, China, Yokohama and Melbourne, Australia.
The Financial Times did not give any details about the evaluation of the deal. Silver Lake first acquired a 10% stake in CFG in 2019 for $4.8 billion.
The financial clout behind Manchester City transformed the fortunes of a club that was overshadowed by its more famous neighbour, Manchester United. He has won five Premier League titles since Sheikh Mansour first invested them, and is also the number one captain in the current Premier League season. City now tops Deloitte’s annual revenue rankings among world football clubs.