Tuesday December 5, 2023

Ares Pours More Than $1B Into Sports Investments

  • Ares Management has moved aggressively into sports investing, as more leagues and franchises seek out private equity funding.
  • The firm has put over $1 billion into sports-related investments in the last six months.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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Sports are opening the door to private equity, and Ares Management is walking in.

The Los Angeles-based investment firm with $227 billion in assets under management has invested more than $1 billion into sports teams, leagues, and media in the last six months. That sum doesn’t include Ares’ co-founder and chairman Tony Ressler’s principal ownership of the Atlanta Hawks.

This week, Atletico Madrid raised $216.9 million from Ares, which now holds a 34% stake in the LaLiga champions. That money will go in part to developing the area around the club’s stadium – a recent trend among major sports teams.

Ares was part of a consortium led by MSP Sports Capital that acquired a 15% stake in McLaren Racing as part of a $255.4 million investment. The financiers valued McLaren at $773.1 million. The stake could rise to 33% by the end of 2022.

Ares has lent an undisclosed amount to:

  • The San Diego Padres
  • The Ottawa Senators
  • Rugby Australia
  • The Professional Fighters League

The firm also provided a $100 million credit line to help Rawlings fund its acquisition of Easton Diamond Sports and acquired a minority stake in Meadowlark Media.

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