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Ares Raises $3.7B for Sports Leagues, Teams

  • Ares Management has raised $3.7 billion of dedicated funding.
  • The financing will be focused on sports leagues, teams, and franchisees, as well as media and entertainment companies.
Atletico Madrid

Ares Management is set to widen its sports footprint even further.

The alternative investment manager has raised $3.7 billion of dedicated funding for sports leagues, sports teams, sport-related franchises, and media and entertainment companies.

The Ares Sports, Media, and Entertainment Finance fund is more than 25% committed to date — equity commitments neared $2.2 billion, although the total available capital is estimated to be $3.7 billion including “anticipated leverage and related transaction vehicles.”

The initial target for the fund was $1.5 billion.

Through the SME fund, Ares has already committed roughly $1 billion to 19 sports companies around the world.

  • In June 2021, Ares agreed to a roughly $216.9 million capital increase to Atletico Madrid.
  • In March 2021, Ares bought around $100 million in debt from the San Diego Padres.
  • In September 2021, Ares closed on a $150 million preferred equity investment in Inter Miami CF.

“We have witnessed significant demand for new and original content among fans, streaming platforms, and networks, and this has driven sports-related businesses to require flexible and scalable capital to help fuel this secular growth,” said Mark Affolter, partner and co-head of U.S. direct lending at Ares.

Star-Studded Board

Ares has also established an advisory board with investors, athletes, and sports, media, and entertainment executives including Los Angeles Football Club co-owner and former FIFA player Mia Hamm, Sportsology executive chairman Mike Forde, and recording artist Lionel Richie, among others.