Manchester City are now part of one of the world’s most valuable football companies after a £389million investment from American firm Silver Lake.
The City Football Group, owner of the Premier League champions, announced on Wednesday the technology firm had acquired a 10 per cent stake in its business, taking its total value to £3.73billion.
That takes the CFG value above that of Real Madrid (£3.29bn), Barcelona (£3.1bn) and Manchester United (£2.95bn) in figures published by Forbes in May. Across all sports, only the Dallas Cowboys had a greater value at that point, of £3.88bn, with the New York Yankees worth £3.57bn.
The CFG value, however, represents the worth of all the group’s assets, rather than just City. The holding company has stakes in six other clubs worldwide in New York City, Melbourne City, Yokohama F Marinos, Girona, Atletico Torque (Uruguay) and Sichuan Jiuniu (China).
The Silver Lake investment – which comes with no shares having been sold – will be spread across the whole group to continue the growth which began with Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of City in 2008.
Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak told Sky Sports: “We’ve been focusing over the last 10 years with a clear business plan, a clear investment strategy, a clear global strategy in terms of how we built our group from one team, in Manchester City, to a group of clubs around the world.
“We are leaders today in the football business globally. All these businesses are sustainable, are profitable.
“I think Manchester City is now five years in profitability so I think this sustainable model we’ve been working on has proven to be a success and Silver Lake sees that.
“The investment, this is 500million (US) dollars that Silver Lake is putting into the group, and we’re not taking any money out. This investment money stays in the group and stays as part of our growth strategy for the future.
“We will continue down the route that we’ve started 10 years ago and as we look at the next chapter of this evolution which is the next 10 years, this investment will help fuel our growth.”
Earlier this month City announced record revenues of £535.2million for the past financial year, coming in a fifth successive year of profitability.
The expansion of the group is likely to see the establishment or acquisition of a club in India in the near future.
Al Mubarak said: “When we look at growth we look at three major markets – the United States, China and India.
“We’ve invested in New York and that’s our US presence in MLS, we’ve invested in China and certainly India is the next big market that we’d like to have a position in.
“I hope very soon we’ll be able to make our move into that market and continue our growth trajectory in the right markets globally.”
Silver Lake, which also has a stake in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, describes itself as “the global leader in technology investing” with combined assets under management and committed capital of £33.37bn.
With bases in Silicon Valley, New York, London and Hong Kong, it has a “singular mission of investing in the world’s leading technology, technology-enabled and related growth businesses”.
Its managing director, Egon Durban, will represent the company on the CFG board.
Durban said: “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.
“We are excited to partner with the board and CFG’s world-class management team to help drive the next phase of CFG’s growth in the fast-growing premium sports and entertainment content market.”
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