Chinese investors pay US$400mil for City Football Group stake

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 02 Dec 2015

Buying in: Panoramic view of Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England. A consortium including CMC is paying US400mil for a stake in the goup that owns Manchester City and New York City FC. CMC chairman Li (inset) will join the City Football Group board. – AP

LONDON: A consortium of Chinese investors is spending US$400mil to take a stake of more than 13% in the group that owns soccer clubs including Manchester City and New York City FC, expanding the country’s financial involvement in the game.

The consortium includes China Media Capital (CMC) Holdings and CITIC Capital and the deal values the City Football Group at US$3bil, City Football Group said in a statement yesterday.

As part of the deal, new shares will be issued in City Football Group in addition to ones owned by Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group.

Ruigang Li, the chairman of CMC, will join the board of the City Football Group.

The capital from the share acquisition will be used by City Football Group to fund its China growth, further international business expansion opportunities and on infrastructure.

Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of City Football Group, said: “Football is the most loved, played and watched sport in the world and in China, the exponential growth pathway for the game is both unique and hugely exciting. We have therefore worked hard to find the right partners and to create the right deal structure to leverage the incredible potential that exists in China, both for CFG and for football at large.” Investment from Sheikh Mansour has transformed the fortunes of Manchester City since 2008 and the club won the English Premier League in 2012 and 2014.

As part of its international expansion, City Football Group now includes New York City FC, Melbourne City FC and a stake in Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos. – Reuters

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