Paris — Private equity firm Silver Lake has agreed to make a $500m equity investment into the owners of English football champions Manchester City, valuing the Premier League club’s owner at $4.8bn.
Silver Lake will buy just over 10% of Abu Dhabi-controlled City Football Group (CFG), which owns Manchester City, the companies said on Wednesday, confirming an earlier report in the Financial Times.
Europe’s top football clubs have drawn in big money from some of the world’s richest oligarchs over the past decade, as the game attracts more and more fans in lucrative markets such as Asia, the US and the Middle East.
Sliver Lake MD Egon Durban said investing in CFG was exciting as they were showing the way for others in innovative ways of how to market football while preserving the history of the clubs.
The clubs’ property portfolios are also often seen as lucrative assets. Man City’s big domestic rival, Manchester United, are owned by the American Glazer family, while French champions Paris Saint Germain are owned by Qatar Sports Investments.
“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,” CFG chair Khaldoon Al Mubarak said.
CFG said none of its existing shareholders were selling equity stakes as part of the Silver Lake deal. It added that Abu Dhabi United Group, the investment vehicle owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, would remain the majority CFG shareholder with a stake of about 77%.
Earlier in November, Man City’s annual report showed it had drawn in record revenue of £535.2m in a fifth consecutive year of profitability over 2018/2019.