The private equity duo of Josh Harris and David Blitzer continue to grow their foothold in sports, acquiring a less than 5% stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers franchise was most recently valued at $2.8 billion by Forbes, suggesting Harris and Blitzer might have paid up to $140 million for their stake.
The Steelers reportedly won’t be part of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment’s global portfolio, however, which includes the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils, and the Prudential Center, as well as the English Premier League’s Crystal Palace. The investors were also reportedly looking at a bid for the New York Mets recently.
The investment into the sports world seems to be paying off for Harris and Blitzer; they paid $280 million for the Sixers in 2011, a franchise now valued at $2 billion. Harris is the co-founder of Apollo Global Management and worth $4.9 billion, while Blitzer is the global head of tactical opportunities at Blackstone Group Inc.
- Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant is now a minority owner of the Philadelphia Union. The price wasn’t disclosed, but Durant’s 5% ownership comes with an option for an additional 5% down the line. Union majority owner Jay Sugarman said the deal values the Union above the recent expansion fee of $325 million paid by Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper for an MLS franchise in Charlotte. Durant joins fellow NBA star James Harden as an MLS owner, who invested $15 million into the Houston Dynamo last July.
- Bain Capital has reportedly offered to purchase a 25% stake in Italy’s Serie A for $3.4 billion, which would top an earlier $2.3 billion bid for 20% by CVC Capital Partners. The bids are for a unit of the league that owns its television rights, which account for nearly 60% of the Serie A’s $2.8 billion in revenue.
- The owners of AS Roma have secured Goldman Sachs to help find a new owner after a nearly $850 million deal with Texas-based billionaire Daniel Friedkin recently fell through.