FOOTBALL FRENZY

Liverpool owners FSG approve £540m investment as LeBron James takes on greater role

Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, are moving forwards with major expansion plans which will see NBA icon LeBron James become a new partner as well as £540million of private investment being approved

Liverpool owners FSG are pushing ahead with ambitious expansion plans after approving a £540million ($750m) private investment deal with RedBird Capital Partners.

That deal will also see LeBron James become a new FSG partner.

The NBA superstar has held shares in Liverpool since 2011.

But now one of the world’s richest and most influential athletes is set to take on a more prominent role with Fenway Sports Group.

James and his business partner, Maverick Carter, will become the first black partners in FSG history, as first reported by the Boston Globe.

James, who boasts over 80million Instagram followers, will become a part-owner of the Red Sox as well as other FSG subsidiaries and adds another layer of potential to further aggressive growth being plotted by the company.

James took a two percent share in Liverpool in 2011, which was then worth £4.7million. According to KPMG’s recent evaluation of the club, it is now worth over £37million.

FSM, the consulting and marketing arm of FSG, has worked with James for more than a decade on marketing and endorsement ventures.

James’ increased role is part of a two-pronged dose of positive news for the growth ambitions of FSG.

After approving their $750million private investment bid, which would make RedBird Capital Partners its third-largest partner, the Liverpool owners are set to see their overall spending power increase.

Coupled with James’ role, which is set to significantly enhance the brand value of FSG, the two moves are set to help the group expand its portfolio.

NFL and NBA franchises are believed to be on their shopping list, as well as another European soccer club plus teams from the NHL, MLS, WNBA and NWSL.

Sports betting, eSports and data analytics companies are also reported to be on the agenda after the cash infusion, which will give RedBird an 11% stake with an enterprise value estimated at $7.35billion.

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