Nov 27, 2019

Private equity giant Silver Lake to invest $500 million in City Football Group

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Private equity giant Silver Lake agreed to invest $500 million for just over a 10% stake in City Football Group, owner of reigning English Premier League champs Manchester City and other soccer clubs, from Abu Dhabi United Group.

Why it matters: It makes CFG, now valued at $4.8 billion, the world's most valuable soccer group.

The bottom line: "Silver Lake made its name investing in technology companies but has pivoted in recent years to entertainment... It had approached other leading English and European clubs, including Chelsea... attracted by the multi-billion-dollar prices paid for football media rights by broadcasters and Internet groups, writes the FT's Murad Ahmed.

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The City Football Group empire

Map: Aïda Amer/Axios

Private equity giant Silver Lake Partners has agreed to invest $500 million for a ~10% stake in City Football Group, owner of reigning English Premier League champs, Manchester City, and seven other soccer clubs around the world.

Why it matters: The deal makes CFG, now valued at $4.8 billion, the world's most valuable soccer group, as well as the second most valuable enterprise in all of sports, trailing only the Dallas Cowboys, per Forbes.

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019

When a sports team is a media investment

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Sports teams have historically been a bauble for billionaires, traded infrequently between each other for stratospheric valuations that often make little economic sense.

Exhibit A: Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen is looking to spend $2 billion of his personal cash to buy a controlling stake in the New York Mets.

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019

Megan Rapinoe named Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year

Megan Rapinoe in a match against Mexico on May 26. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

Sports Illustrated on Monday named soccer star Megan Rapinoe as its 2019 Sportsperson of the Year for her part in the United States' World Cup win and for "being a vocal activist for equality."

The big picture: Rapinoe, now the fourth woman to win the award unaccompanied, became a household name after her breakout performance in the World Cup. She also gained significant media attention after President Trump criticized her for refusing to visit the White House if the U.S. won the tournament.

Go deeperArrowDec 9, 2019