Liverpool investors are expected to benefit significantly as Manchester United’s owners are dealt yet another setback.
RedBird Capital Partners, the private equity group that bought an 11% share in Liverpool earlier this year, could be about to reap the benefits of another of its investments.
In June, the New York-based firm, which manages over £4 billion in assets across various portfolios, paid £27 million for a 15% share in Indian Premier League cricket franchise Rajasthan Royals.
It was RedBird’s first entry into cricket, but it could pay off handsomely in the not-too-distant future, thanks to an expected increase in the TV agreement for the next broadcast cycle, which could add significant value to the teams presently competing in the IPL.
The last TV deal for the IPL was struck in 2017, and with the league continuing to thrive and audiences of 200 million tuning in for some games, the next rights auction, expected later this year, is expected to see the 2017 rights figure rise significantly, with tech firms and streaming giants all involved.
The IPL’s eight clubs rely heavily on television revenues, and with the league’s structure resembling that of American sports, where there is no relegation and a high degree of cost certainty, RedBird’s entry into the market appears to be a logical decision.
The 2021 IPL featured eight teams, but the number will increase to ten for the 2022 edition, thanks to two private equity groups winning franchises in Lucknow and Ahmedabad.
Bids were sought for two teams, each with six cities. CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm with investments in Spain’s La Liga, paid roughly £542 million for the Ahmedabad franchise, while RPSG paid £690 million for Lucknow.
Avram Glazer, a member of the Glazer family who owns Manchester United, was one of those who missed out on the bidding process.
Glazer, the founder of private equity company Lancer Capital and a family member who owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL team, was beaten to the purchase of an. “The summary has come to an end.”