City Football Group Announces US$500 Million Strategic Investment by Silver Lake
Deal Values World’s Leading Private Owner and Operator of Soccer Clubs at US$4.8 Billion Post-investment
Silver Lake Making a Primary Capital Investment to Further Accelerate Growth and Fund Technology and Infrastructure Development
Manchester, England and Menlo Park, California, November 27th 2019 – City Football Group (CFG), the world’s leading private owner and operator of soccer clubs, today announced that Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing, has signed a definitive agreement to make a US$500 million equity investment, equivalent to just over 10% of the company’s post-investment value. The deal values City Football Group at US$4.8 billion post-investment.
CFG is the owner of soccer clubs and related businesses, including Premier League Champions Manchester City FC, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay, Girona FC in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China. The company has more than 2,000 employees in 12 locations globally, overseeing more than 1,500 players and 2,500 games annually, and delivers a unique global platform to its commercial partners.
The proceeds from the investment will be used by City Football Group to fund international business growth opportunities and develop further CFG technology and infrastructure assets.
No existing CFG shareholders are selling equity as a result of this primary capital investment. Abu Dhabi United Group, the investment vehicle owned by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, remains the majority CFG shareholder (c.77%).
In addition, c.12% of CFG equity remains held by a consortium of Chinese institutional investors led by China’s leading media and entertainment conglomerate CMC Inc.
Pursuant to the agreement, the Board of the City Football Group Holding Company will increase from eight to nine members. Mr. Egon Durban, a Managing Partner and Managing Director of Silver Lake, will represent Silver Lake as the ninth CFG board member.
Commenting on the announcement, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of City Football Group 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.”
He added: “We welcome the opportunity to work with Egon and the Silver Lake team and its network to facilitate the global growth and deepening of CFG Club fan-bases and the development of our business as a whole.”
Speaking about the partnership, Mr. Durban said: “We are excited to invest in CFG, which is redefining soccer globally and in doing so has successfully built an impressive global platform of marquee soccer clubs across five continents. We greatly respect CFG’s stewardship of more than a century of soccer tradition and the strong global fanbases of its clubs. We are excited to partner with the Board and CFG’s world-class management team to help drive the next phase of CFG’s growth in the fast-growing premium sports and entertainment content market.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval in some territories.
About City Football Group
Established in May 2013, City Football Group is the world’s leading private owner and operator of soccer clubs, with total or partial ownership of seven clubs in major cities across the world: Premier League Champions Manchester City in the UK, New York City FC in the US, Melbourne City FC in Australia, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay, Girona Futbol Club in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China. With twelve offices around the world, CFA also invests in other soccer related businesses and projects and serves as a global commercial platform for its partners, while fulfilling its vision of using soccer for social good on a local and global scale through its clubs’ charities, foundations and other CSR initiatives.
Prior to the Silver Lake investment CFG was owned by Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) (c.87%) and the China Media Capital (CMC) Consortium (c.13%). Until December 2015, City Football Group was wholly owned by ADUG, a private investment and development company belonging to His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
About Silver Lake
Silver Lake is a global leader in technology investing, with over US$43 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital and a team of approximately 100 investment and value creation professionals located in Silicon Valley, New York, London, and Hong Kong. Silver Lake’s portfolio of investments collectively generates more than $210 billion of revenue annually and employs 370,000 people globally. For more information about Silver Lake and its portfolio, please visit www.silverlake.com.
About CMC Inc.
CMC Inc. is a leading media and entertainment conglomerate founded and led by Mr. Ruigang Li. Based out of Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong, CMC Inc. is known for its prominent strengths in premium content of multiple genres, which include film, drama, variety show, game, financial media, short video, fashion & lifestyle, concert, theatre, live entertainment event, sports, music, and a comprehensive scope of content related businesses such as artist and sports agency, cinema, theme park, and urban recreational complex.