Charterhouse Capital Partners acquires majority stake in Two Circles for UK£250m
London-based private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners (CCP) has acquired a majority stake in the sports marketing agency Two Circles, resulting in the exit of Bruin Sports Capital from the business.
The transaction, valued at UK£250 million, is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2024.
Two Circles, founded in 2011, will continue under the leadership of co-founder and CEO Gareth Balch, along with its existing management team. The team has not only retained its positions but has also reinvested in the company, increasing their shareholding.
With partnerships involving over 400 sports properties, Two Circles offers services such as rights management, ticketing, sponsorship sales and content creation. Clients include the NFL, the International Olympic Committee and the Premier League.
Bruin Sports Capital, based in New York, initially acquired a majority stake in Two Circles in 2019, following a prior collaboration with the agency. The acquisition occurred after Bruin secured an initial US$600 million investment from The Jordan Company (TJC) and CVC Capital Partners.
“Charterhouse’s interest in our business reflects the commitment our clients have made to embrace a fan-focused and technology-enabled future,” Balch commented.
“We will continue to work with our clients to harness the possibilities of digitisation and technology to grow the value of sport while nurturing the spirit and heritage that attracts hundreds of millions of fans and players to the games, teams and competitions they love.
“This partnership with Charterhouse will enable Two Circles to do this in more places worldwide and importantly, to collaboratively identify and invest in the capabilities sports needs to thrive.”
Charterhouse, having invested over UK£12 billion in assets since 1994, identified Two Circles as a compelling opportunity due to its data-driven focus, consistent profits and annual growth since its inception.
Chris Warren, a partner at Charterhouse, sees Two Circles as the emerging digitally native global sports group poised to lead the industry’s next era.
“Two Circles was a standout opportunity because of its data-driven focus, resilient profits and growth in every year since it was founded in 2011,” Warren said.
“In a rapidly changing media landscape, sport has the potential to become more popular and valuable than ever before.
“We believe Two Circles is emerging as the first digitally native global sports group and will lead the next era for the sports industry to help its clients navigate the changes ahead and fulfil their potential.”