Abu Dhabi-based Man City owner draws $500m investment from private equity firm Silver Lake

Manchester City this month reported record high 2018-19 revenue of £535.2 million ($687 million) in a fifth consecutive year of profitability. (Reuters)
Updated 27 November 2019

Abu Dhabi-based Man City owner draws $500m investment from private equity firm Silver Lake

  • Europe’s top football clubs have drawn in big money from some of the world’s richest investors over the last decade
  • Man City this month reported record high 2018-2019 revenue of £535.2 million in a fifth consecutive year of profitability

PARIS: US private equity firm Silver Lake has agreed to invest $500 million in the owners of English football champions Manchester City, valuing the Premier League club’s owner at $4.8 billion.
Silver Lake will buy just over 10 percent of Abu Dhabi-controlled City Football Group (CFG), which owns Manchester City, the companies said on Wednesday, confirming a report in the Financial Times newspaper.
Europe’s top football clubs have drawn in big money from some of the world’s richest investors over the last decade, as the game attracts more and more fans in lucrative markets such as Asia, the United States and the Middle East.
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 Chelsea is owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. 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,” City Football Group Chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak said in a statement.
City Football Group 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 around 77 percent.
Man City this month reported record high 2018-19 revenue of £535.2 million ($687 million) in a fifth consecutive year of profitability.
Silver Lake Managing Director Egon Durban will join the board of City Football Group.
“We are excited to invest in CFG, which is redefining football globally and in doing so has successfully built an impressive global platform of marquee football clubs across five continents,” Durban said in a statement.
Manchester City spent much of the 1990s in the doldrums, often out of England’s top-flight league and far behind Manchester United, which remains England’s record league title holders with 20 championship titles.
However, the influx of Middle Eastern cash has since led to a revival in Man City’s fortunes.
The team, managed by former Barcelona man Pep Guardiola, won an unprecedented domestic treble last season — the Premier League title, the FA Cup and the League Cup.
Unlike Manchester United and Liverpool, however, Man City is yet to win Europe’s most prestigious title, the Champions League.


Djokovic survives scare as rain causes chaos at Australian Open

Updated 20 January 2020

Djokovic survives scare as rain causes chaos at Australian Open

  • World No. 3 Federer was briefly hauled off court while the roof was closed on Rod Laver Arena

MELBOURNE: Novak Djokovic survived a scare to join Roger Federer and Serena Williams in the Australian Open second round as heavy downpours caused chaos on Monday, forcing organizers to postpone a swathe of matches.

Defending champion Djokovic was made to sweat before beating Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff in four sets on the first day, when fears over air pollution were replaced by disruption caused by rain.

In the late match, defending champion Djokovic dropped his first set since 2006 in the opening round before recovering to beat Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.

“There is a lot of pressure and a lot of different emotions involved. I definitely try to remind myself to stay present and really enjoy,” said the seven-time Melbourne winner, who brought up his 900th Tour-level victory.

While play continued at the three stadiums with retractable roofs, half of the 64 scheduled matches were postponed, ensuring a big backlog for Tuesday.

Wet conditions are unusual for the Australian Open, which is more used to extreme heat and was plagued by smog from bushfires during qualifying, when players suffered coughing fits and breathing problems.

Air quality was rated “good” as the first round started on Monday but about four hours later play was suspended on outside courts when the heavens opened in Melbourne.

World No. 3 Federer was briefly hauled off court while the roof was closed on Rod Laver Arena before returning to complete a routine 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over American Steve Johnson.

Williams, on the hunt for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, won the first set against Anastasia Potapova in just 19 minutes as she cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 win in less than an hour.

“I feel like I can still improve and get better throughout this tournament, for sure. This is a good stepping stone for right now,” Williams said.

However, Williams’ elder sister Venus was ousted in stunning fashion by 15-year-old Coco Gauff, who won 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 in a repeat of her first-round upset at Wimbledon last year.

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens was the biggest women’s casualty on day one when she crashed out in three sets to Zhang Shuai of China — her fourth first-round exit in Melbourne.

Defending champion Naomi Osaka was done well before the downpour as she dismissed Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4 in 80 minutes, smashing one powerful serve that broke a net fastening.

“It was really tough for me trying to control my nerves,” said Osaka. “It’s tough to play someone you’ve never played before in the first round of a Grand Slam.”

Later on the covered center court, Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty recovered strongly from a set down to beat Lesia Tsurenko 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

In the men’s draw, Greek sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Federer en route to last year’s semis, crushed Salvatore Caruso 6-0, 6-2, 6-3.

Player anger over smog dominated the final days before the tournament, which is taking place after bushfires ravaged large parts of Australia, destroying thousands of homes and killing 29 people.

Tournament officials are closely monitoring pollution and will halt play and close the three main stadiums’ roofs if particulate matter suspended in the air hits PM2.5 200.

In other results, Canadian 13th seed Denis Shapovalov argued furiously with the umpire over a code violation for throwing his racquet as he lost in four sets to Marton Fucsovics.

Croatian 25th seed Borna Coric was another first-round loser as he went down to experienced American Sam Querrey, while Australia’s Sam Stosur bombed out against Caty McNally.

But former champion Caroline Wozniacki, playing her last tournament before retiring, safely reached the second round as she beat Kristie Ahn 6-1, 6-3.