The Liverpool FC owner is looking for new FSG teams and a potential roster
Fenway Sports Group, owner of Liverpool football club and Boston Red Sox baseball, will be looking to acquire more professional sports teams and a list of potential future stock exchanges after the new investment is made. The U.S. team is valued at $ 7.35 million.
Earlier this week, private investment team RedBird Capital and basketball star LeBron James acquired a minimum stake in FSG in a transaction that confirms that it is one of the most valuable sports-owned teams in the world.
Speaking to the Financial Times, FSG President Tom Werner and RedBird founder Gerry Cardinale pledged to buy teams from other leagues in the new capital, such as the North American Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, as well as elsewhere in European football.
“Fenway Sports Group started two decades ago and I believe we have the knowledge and experience to create and launch new businesses and in sports and entertainment and the media,” Werner said. “We believe Gerry is a critical partner in our interest in identifying and acquiring more assets.”
However, the momentum for growth has been discussed with RedBird and a special company that has bought RedBall, RedBall, after talking about its potential. the reverse fusion collapsed.
This would publicly list the FSG and give it to the team’s owners, led by billionaire John W. Henry, who would give them a quicker and potentially greater short-term reward after rigorous care of the Red Sox and Liverpool. success in recent years.
Asked if WG could still sell both clubs and look for a faster pay, FSG said: “If someone comes into your house and offers you a great price, you will look into it. But our interest is certainly to maintain and grow our properties. I think we see a lot of ups and downs, not just in the economic sense. We are committed to our supporters. “
Werner’s response underscores a broader problem for the FSG, and in fact most of the owners of other frank sports franchises: the ability to find enough buyers to write a billion-dollar check.
In the U.S., high-end sports franchises regularly exchange hands for billions of dollars, such as the New York Mets baseball, The Steve Cohen hedge fund was bought by the titans in October At $ 2.4 million.
But these purchase prices have not yet been achieved in European football. Roman Abramovich, a Russian-Israeli billionaire who owns Chelsea, last year demanded a price of more than 2 billion euros from those who wanted to acquire the Premier League club.
“How do you get an overvaluation of 2 billion euros [a club in] the league, with a total revenue of 5 billion euros and a net exploitation of total profits, before a tax of 500 million euros, “said Bob Ratcliffe, director of Ineos, as the UK chemicals team looked into buying Chelsea as part of a wider sports portfolio.” that? “
That problem is with FSG he acquired Liverpool, one of the most successful clubs in England £ 300 million in 2010. Since then, the team has won the Champions League, the main competition for European clubs, and won the Premier League last season, assured of its own. First league title in England in 30 years. The FSG’s valuation suggests that the football club is worth billions of dollars.
“The sports business, in my opinion, is something that hasn’t kept pace with team ratings,” said Cardinale, a former Goldman Sachs executive who helped launch the New York Yankees ’regional baseball sports network, RedBird, before the sport was created. focused on private investment group.
“These active sports and leagues are mini businesses in today’s world, technology has transformed the way people receive and receive content, and especially live programming,” he added.
A banker who advises buyers of active sports said several factors lead investors to place themselves in different sports teams, including diversification and scale.
“Having several sports franchises in the same market gives the team owner more power than the media partners in negotiating media rights contracts,” the banker said, and asked not to be named because they are not allowed to speak to the press. “If it’s a team that plays in the summer and a team that plays in the winter, you also have year-round content, which is valid if you have your own network.”
“If both teams share the same scope, there can certainly be benefits from an operational perspective of selling tickets and suites for both teams. In the end, having multiple franchises will give the company a much larger scale and ease seasonal changes, which can make the group more important. with a lower income base for the little ones, ”they added.
Meanwhile, private capital has been looking for minority positions in major leagues and teams, among others Italian Serie A and NBA San Antonio Spurs. Both Major League Baseball and the NBA have recently expanded their statutes to allow for this institutional investment.
As a result, and with the pandemic continuing, Cardinal said private investment in the FSG makes the most sense until the market is “normalized”. “Down the road, we could think at that moment that we could be leaders in sports and present public construction and the kind of capital that that entails,” he said.
Werner said the FSG will eventually adhere to the same principles that have guided the Red Sox and Liverpool management so far.
“The reason we grew up is because we started building and developing a winning team, which you call‘ diamond ’or‘ pitch ’,” he said. “The most important thing for us is to try to be the best in class.”