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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.
Ares-Management
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.