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Silver Lake increases its investment in Manchester City’s owner This is in addition to the $500 million investment that Silver Lake made in Manchester City’s parent company last year.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels

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US private equity firm Silver Lake consolidates position as second-largest shareholder in Manchester City’s parent company.

Silver Lake now owns more than 18 per cent of City Football Group.

Silver Lake’s continued appetite to build its position in CFG highlights the appetite among institutional investors to buy into elite sports assets.

Symbolic of how Chinese buyers have retreated from European football since Beijing tightened capital controls.

Since Silver Lake made its initial investment in Manchester City’s parent company last year, the group’s Chinese investors have slashed their stake to close to zero. This is symbolic of how Chinese buyers have retreated from European football since Beijing tightened capital controls.

It is not just Silver Lake that has increased its investment in Manchester City. US private equity firm Raine Group is searching for buyers of Italian football club Inter Milan, which is controlled by Nanjing-based electronics retailer Suning. Inter has said it would consider investment rather than a full sale. Other Chinese investors have previously sold down stakes in clubs ranging from English Premier League club Aston Villa to France’s Lyon.

Meanwhile US investors Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital in May acquired Chelsea FC for £2.5bn, a record for a football club takeover. That deal set a benchmark for elite clubs.

So why are institutional investors so interested in buying into elite sports assets? There are a number of reasons. Firstly, sports teams are often seen as a safe investment because they are not as susceptible to economic downturns as other businesses. Secondly, the global reach of the top clubs means that they can generate revenue from sources outside their traditional markets, such as TV rights and sponsorship deals. Finally, the popularity of sport means that there is always demand for tickets and merchandise, even when results are not going well on the pitch.

City said the latest Silver Lake transaction was a “further endorsement” of its business model and its “continued international growth.”

City said the latest Silver Lake transaction was a “further endorsement” of its business model and its “continued international growth.”

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