Private investment company RedBird Capital and Basketball star LeBron James have invested in Fenway Sports Group (FSG) in a deal that places the enterprise value of the Liverpool FC and Boston Red Sox’s parent company at $7.35 billion. Under the deal, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, businessman Maverick Carter and their longtime business partner Paul Wachter will become part of FSG’s ownership group along with RedBird, Fenway said.
James, Carter and Wachter had previously held minority stakes in Liverpool FC. The deal will see the trio exchange those for a minority ownership position in FSG, The deal comes after Fenway Sports ended talks to sell a minority stake in January to RedBall Acquisition Corp, a blank-check firm co-chaired by baseball executive Billy Beane.
The agreement would have merged Fenway Sports Group with RedBall in a deal that would have valued the combined company at around $8 billion, including debt.
Private-equity firms are looking at sports teams as avenues for investment. BC Partners ended exclusive talks with Italian soccer team Inter Milan last month without a deal, while U.S. investment fund Fortress and Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala were also interested in investing.
Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri
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