A stake in one of the biggest soccer ownership groups in the world has moved from China to California.
Silicon Valley private equity firm Silver Lake has bought much of China Media Capital’s stake in City Football Group. CFG owns Manchester City, New York City Football Club, Melbourne City Football Club, and at least seven other teams around the world.
- Silver Lake now owns more than 18% of CFG.
- The firm, which has $92 billion in assets under management, bought a 10% stake in CFG in 2019 for $500 million, then shares from CMC over the next two years, growing its stake to 14.5%.
- CFG majority shareholder Newton Investment and Development, owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, also increased its stake.
Silver Lake’s diverse portfolio includes stakes in Endeavor, LEARFIELD, Oak View Group, Madison Square Garden Sports, and Equinox.
Silver Lake’s Big Splash
Silver Lake has become one of the most aggressive private equity investors in sports properties.
It completed a lengthy process in February to purchase an 8.6% stake in New Zealand’s prized All Blacks rugby team for $133.6 million.
In December 2021 it secured a 33.3% stake in the Australian Professional Leagues for around $100 million, and made a reported $50 million investment in Cris Collinsworth’s analytics firm Pro Football Focus the previous September.