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.


Saudi Arabia welcomes return of live international sport with women’s golf events

Updated 28 September 2020

Saudi Arabia welcomes return of live international sport with women’s golf events

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will welcome international live sport back in November with a world first professional women’s golf week expected to be a landmark event for the Kingdom.

King Abdullah Economic City on the Red Sea Coast will host two elite-level European Ladies Tour golf tournaments in the space of seven days: the $1 million Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF which takes place on Nov. 12 to 15 and the $500,000 Saudi Ladies Team International, whichs runs from Nov. 17 until Nov. 19.

Both tournaments have attracted the world’s best golfers, and will be the first time in women’s golf history that professionals – themselves competing in the Kingdom for the first time – will partner with amateurs in the all-new team and individual format for the Saudi Ladies Team International.

The events will mark the return of huge international sporting events to the Kingdom, something Saudi Arabia has become renowned for hosting in recent years as the country aims to inspire its next generation under the ambitions of Saudi Vision 2030, a statement said.

The tournament will take place at Royal Greens Golf Club, above. (Supplied)

Their hosting also reaffirms the Kingdom’s commitment to women’s sport, which comes at a time when many athletes worldwide have seen their endeavours halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we all know the first half of this year has been extremely challenging on businesses, organisations and nations worldwide, with sport affected greatly,” Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan, chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation and tournament organiser Golf Saudi, said in the statement.

“However, we are thankful to both PIF and Aramco – who are equally determined to give elite level sport the platform to continue to flourish, both here in Saudi Arabia and abroad, and never more so than now – which makes us proud to be throwing our full weight behind both the Saudi Ladies International and Saudi Ladies Team International.”

Originally planned for March, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF will be the Ladies European Tour’s debut event in Saudi Arabia and the 2020 Tour’s third highest paying event.

Wales’ Amy Boulden will be taking part in both of November’s events, fresh from her maiden LET win at this month’s Swiss Open.

 “This type of commitment to women’s golf is really amazing to see at this time. It’s given players another massive week to look forward to competing in and allows us to take the game we love to a new country, where we can play on what is a truly incredible golf course with one of the most picturesque views you’ll see on Tour,” Boulden said.

“For Golf Saudi to throw their weight behind two events in one week is a really significant gesture from a country I know is passionate about growing golf, and I can’t wait to get out there playing.”