US private equity juggernaut Silver Lake announced it is investing $500 million in the owner of English soccer club Manchester City.
The deal values the popular team at nearly $5 billion, and signals a concerted move by the historic tech investors into sports.
On Wednesday morning, the company said that it will buy just over 10 percent of City Football Group under this agreement. The group is controlled by Arab Emirates royal Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
In addition to the British champions Manchester City, which is currently one of the most powerful soccer teams in Europe, the group owns teams in Australia, Uruguay, China, Japan, the United States and Spain.
"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," the chairman of City Football Group Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in a statement.
Director of sports services at Brand Finance Bryn Anderson added that "Within world football, this is almost certainly the largest ever sports enterprise valuation. When we look at major league baseball and the eye watering deals in the NFL and even e-sports now, this news will no doubt cause ripples across the sporting and private equity worlds."
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