HomeFinanceUS Equity Firm Silver Lake Buys Minority Stake In A-Leagues

US Equity Firm Silver Lake Buys Minority Stake In A-Leagues

US Equity Firm Silver Lake Buys Minority Stake In A-Leagues

Silver Lakes managing director Stephen Evans.

The Australian Profession Leagues (APL), the managing entity of Australian professional football, has signed a deal to offtake a minority stake (33%) to Silver Lake, a US equity firm.

Silver Lake is an American global equity firm focused on investments in technology, technology-enabled and related industries.

The transaction valued the APL at approximately USD$300m (AUD$425m), resulting in a transaction figure of roughly USD$100m or AUD$141m.

Silver Lake’s investment aims to drive technology enhancements and innovation to improve the fan experience, whilst supporting a sustained, long-term growth strategy.

The investment aligns with the APL’s digital-first strategy, which aims to focus on marketing, product development and strengthening its direct-to-consumer execution.

The A-Leagues have been making headlines at the Ministry of Sport, partnering with technology providers, and launching the KEEPUP platform, which we spoke about with APL managing director, Danny Townsend.

Funds will also be allocated to support the on-field enhancements for all competitions, however, there will be a specific focus on extended growth in the Liberty A-League Women and A-League Youth Competition.

As part of the deal, Silver Lakes managing director Stephen Evans will become a member of the APL board, commenting: “The Australian Professional Leagues has a large, growing and passionate fan base across its thirteen teams and the organization has made great strides as it focuses on leveraging technology to strengthen Australian football and enrich the fan experience.”

A-leagues chair, Paul Lederer said: “Silver Lake is a world-class leader in technology and media investing and this partnership is a testament to the compelling opportunities for growth and even better, deeper fan engagement that our leagues are cultivating.

“This valuation recognises the latent potential that has long existed in the professional game in Australia, and the ability of our board and executive team to realise that potential.

“We welcome the opportunity to work closely with Silver Lake to harness the team’s experience, including around new technology adoption and other growth strategies critical to realising the potential of Australian football”, Lederer said.

Silver Lake, which is based in California, has an estimated $US88 billion ($A123.3 billion) in assets under management and has invested in sports regularly over the past couple of years including a $US500m ($A700.4m) deal to buy a 10 per cent stake in the City Football Group – the parent company of English Premier League champions Manchester City and A-League Men’s champions Melbourne City.

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