RedBird Capital Partners, an U.S an investment firm founded by a former Goldman Sachs executive Gerry Cardinale, has picked up 15% stake in Indian Premier League's (IPL) Rajasthan Royals team at a valuation of $250 million, Financial Times reported.
Rajasthan Royals was among the original eight franchises when Indian Premier League (IPL) was launched in 2008. Under the leadership of veteran Australian cricketer Shane Warne, the Royals won the opening edition by defeating Chennai Super Kings in the final.
London-based Manoj Badale, the co-founder and managing partner of venture capital firm Blenheim Chalcot, currently owns 65% stake in the IPL franchise through his wholly-owned investment vehicle, Emerging Media. Other existing shareholders in Rajasthan Royal include Lachlan Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch and chief executive of Fox Corporation.
RedBird is a big player in the private equity sector, with companies like the New York Yankees’ YES Network in its portfolio.
Since its launch in 2014, RedBird has led over $3.0 billion in equity and co-investments across 20 portfolio companies in its four key industry verticals: including Sports, Leisure & Hospitality, Communications; Business & Financial Services; and Energy & Industrial Services.
Prior to founding RedBird, Gerry spent 20 years at Goldman Sachs where he was a partner of the firm and a senior leader of the Merchant Bank’s private equity investing business.
Gerry sits on the boards of the YES Network, which RedBird recently re-acquired; Yankee Global Enterprises (“YGE”), and OneTeam Partners, a partnership with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and MLB Players Association (MLBPA)
On July 20, RedBird also of the French soccer team, Toulouse Football Club from owner Olivier Sadran who will retain a 15% stake in the club and remain on the member board of directors.
Rebird also announced that a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) focused on sports set up it will go public on the New York Stock Exchange.
The SPAC focuses on businesses in the sports, media and data analytics sectors, with a focus on professional sports franchises.
FT quoted Badale as saying that association with Redbird will prove beneficial to Royals as it will help in adopting a data-driven sports management to improve on-pitch performances.
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