Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
💎 Reveal Undervalued Stocks Hiding in Any Market Get Started

Manchester City owner scores $4.8 billion price tag with stake sale

Stock Markets Nov 27, 2019 06:06AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio

By Paul Sandle and Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - Manchester City's Abu Dhabi-controlled owner has agreed to sell a $500 million stake to U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake, making it the world's most valuable soccer group with a $4.8 billion price tag.

Tech-focused Silver Lake will buy just over 10% of City Football Group (CFG), which owns reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City and teams in the United States, Australia and China, the companies said on Wednesday.

The investment crowns a rags to riches story for Manchester City, which spent much of the 1990s in the doldrums but broke into the big league of world soccer with the help of Middle Eastern cash.

Europe's top soccer clubs have drawn in big money from some of the world's richest investors over the last decade, as the game attracts more fans in lucrative markets such as Asia, the United States and the Middle East.

Chinese investors paid $400 million for a 13% stake in CFG four years ago, valuing the group at $3 billion at that time.

Man City's big domestic rival Manchester United (N:MANU) are majority owned by the American Glazer family and are valued at $2.8 billion (N:MANU).

Chelsea are owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, while America's Fenway Sports Group controls current European champions Liverpool and French champions Paris Saint Germain are owned by Qatar Sports Investments.

"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 Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said.

CFG, which also owns or part owns 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, said none of its shareholders were selling stakes.

Abu Dhabi United Group, the investment vehicle owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will remain the majority CFG shareholder with a stake of around 77% after the deal.

It is relatively rare for private equity firms to buy into soccer because they want a relatively quick return and while clubs make their money from lucrative broadcasting rights, their fortunes still depend on their success on the field.

Silver Lake Managing Director Egon Durban, who will join CFG's board, said the California-based firm's investment would "help drive the next phase of CFG's growth in the fast-growing premium sports and entertainment content market".

Silver Lake owns stakes in entertainment and sport talent agencies group Endeavor and global sports agency IMG.

(GRAPHIC: City Football Group ownership - )


Although City were champions of England in 1968, the club were heavily overshadowed by local rivals Manchester United and fell into the third tier of English soccer in 1998.

The team were a mid-table Premier League side when they were purchased by the Abu Dhabi Group in 2008.

Within four years, City won the Premier League, their first top-flight title in 44 years, and Spaniard Pep Guardiola, appointed manager in 2016, guided the club to a second straight title and a domestic treble of trophies last season.

But City have yet to achieve their goal of winning Europe's most prestigious prize, the Champions League.

And an investigation by European soccer's governing body UEFA into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play rules could potentially see the team barred from the competition.

Aside from Man City, CFG's most notable investment was to create New York City FC, a Major League Soccer franchise which plays at Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees baseball team.

Man City, whose squad includes England's Raheem Sterling, Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne and Argentina's Sergio Aguero, reported record 2018-19 revenue of 535.2 million pounds ($687 million) in a fifth consecutive year of profitability.

Manchester City owner scores $4.8 billion price tag with stake sale

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email