Manchester City owners now U.K.'s richest sports group

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-27 22:19:37|Editor: huaxia
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LONDON, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- A 500 million U.S. dollar investment deal on Wednesday made the owners of English Premier League champions Manchester City the U.K.'s most valuable sports group.

City Football Group (CFG), which owns Manchester City and a number of other teams across the globe, announced it had concluded a major investment deal with tech investment giants U.S.-based Silver Lake.

CFG said the deal values the group at 4.8 billion U.S. dollars, overtaking neighbors and rivals Manchester United.

In its announcement, CFG said: "Silver Lake has become the second major partner in the group. Around 12 percent of CFG equity remains held by a consortium of Chinese institutional investors led by China's leading media and entertainment conglomerate CMC Inc."

Commenting on the latest investment, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of CFG said: "Silver Lake is a global leader in technology investing, and we are delighted by both the validation that their investment in CFG represents, and the opportunities for further growth that their partnership brings.

"We and Silver Lake share the strong belief in the opportunities being presented by the convergence of entertainment, sports and technology and the resulting ability for CFG to generate long-term growth and new revenue streams globally."

CFG said no existing CFG shareholders are selling equity as a result of the new investment.

Al Mubarak has indicated that the proceeds from the investment will be used by CFG to fund international business growth opportunities and further develop CFG technology and infrastructure assets.

Durban will join the board of the City Football Group holding company, which as a result increases in size from eight to nine members.

The CFG board also includes Li Ruigang, founding chairman of CMC Capital Partners and CMC Holdings Limited. He was chairman and CEO of Shanghai Media Group (SMG) for more than 10 years and is a non-executive director of global advertising conglomerate WPP.

As well as owning Manchester City, the group also owns Manchester City Women, New York City FC, Melbourne City and Melbourne City Women, and has stakes in several other sports teams.

In February 2019, CFG announced the acquisition of Sichuan Jiuniu in China League 2, together with CFG shareholders CMC, through China Sports Capital, and Manchester City partner UBTECH.

Based in Chengdu in Sichuan Province, Sichuan Jiuniu plays its home games at the 27,000 capacity Chengdu Longquanyi Football Stadium.

Commenting on the latest investment by Silver Lake, the Manchester Evening News said it means CFG has now become the world's most valuable sports group. As well as taking their value above Manchester United, it also takes them above other global giants Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.