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Manchester United Investors Get a Kick from Silver Lake's Investment in Rival Football Club

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Shares of Manchester United traded 12% higher today after private investment firm Silver Lake Partners announced that it is acquiring a $500 million stake in City Football Group, owner of the reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City.

Today, shares of the iconic English football club Manchester United Plc (MANU:NYSE) traded higher after Menlo Park, Calif.-based global technology investmentfirm Silver Lake Partners, announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to make a $500 million equity investment, equivalent to just over 10% of the company's post-investment value in City Football Group, the world's leading private owner and operator of soccer clubs. According to the report, the deal values City Football Group at $4.8 billion post-investment.

City Football Group (CFG) owns Manchester City, a competitor of Manchester United, which is valued at roughly $2.8 billion and is majority owned by the American Glazer family. The release indicated that "the proceeds from the investment will be used by City Football Group to fund international business growth opportunities and develop further CFG technology and infrastructure assets."

Egon Durban, a managing partner and managing director of Silver Lake, will reportedly join CFG's Board of Directors under the terms of the investment agreement. Durban commented, "We are excited to invest in CFG, which is redefining soccer globally and in doing so has successfully built an impressive global platform of marquee soccer clubs across five continents."

CFG's Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak added, "We and Silver Lake share the strong belief in the opportunities being presented by the convergence of entertainment, sports and technology and the resulting ability for CFG to generate long-term growth and new revenue streams globally."

CFG also has various ownership interest in several other football clubs including New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay, Girona FC in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China.

Silver Lake is headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., and is a global technology investing firm with over $43 billion in combined assets under management. The company notes that its worldwide portfolio of investments and companies employ 370,000 people globally and collectively generate more than $210 billion in annual revenues.

Manchester United manages and operates a professional football club and related activities. The company monetizes its global brand through sponsorships, retail, merchandising, apparel and product licensing. It monetizes its global brand via marketing and sponsorship with international and regional companies worldwide, and globally markets and sells sports apparel featuring the Manchester United brand.

Manchester United has a market cap of approximately $2.8 billion with about 164.6 million shares outstanding. MANU shares opened today at $16.60 (-$0.14, -0.84%) compared to yesterday's closing price of $16.74. The shares have since traded today on higher than average volume between $18.08 to $19.16 per share and are currently trading at $18.55 (+$1.86, +11.14%).


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