Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour has struck a US$500mln deal to sell a stake in the Premier League champions to US technology investor Silver Lake.
Abu Dhabi United, the sheikh’s investment vehicle, has agreed to sell a 10% stake of City Football Group (CFG) to the Silicon Valley-based private equity firm, giving the football club a $4.8bn valuation.
This is almost double the market capitalisation of city rivals Manchester United PLC (NYSE:MANU) and makes CFG the most valuable football club in the world, although the business is also the owner of several other teams, including Girona in Spain, New York City FC, Yokohama F Marinos in Japan and Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China.
Sheikh Mansour’s stake will fall from 87% to 77% after the investment, with the proceeds said to be used “to fund international business growth opportunities and develop further CFG technology and infrastructure”.
City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak noted that Silver Lake is a specialist in technology investing and suggested the investment brings “opportunities for further growth” from the “convergence of entertainment, sports and technology and the resulting ability for CFG to generate long-term growth and new revenue streams globally”.
This, he said, included working with the US firm’s network to “facilitate the global growth and deepening of CFG club fan-bases”.
The remaining 12% share of CFG equity is held by a consortium of Chinese institutional investors, led by media and entertainment group CMC Inc.