China Media Capital (CMC) and CITIC Capital have splashed out $400 million (£265m) to buy a 13% stake in Manchester City Football Club’s parent company, City Football Group (CFG).
A statement released on City’s website yesterday read:
City Football Group today announced a partnership with a consortium of high profile Chinese institutional investors led by China’s leading media, entertainment, sports and internet dedicated investment and operating company CMC (China Media Capital) Holdings.
The deal will create an unprecedented platform for the growth of CFG clubs and companies in China and internationally, borne out of CFG’s ability to provide a wealth of industry expertise and resources to the rapidly developing Chinese football industry.
Manchester City majority owner, Sheik Mansour, originally paid around the same figure to purchase full ownership of the club back in 2009.
The new investment helps City further close the gap on local rivals Manchester United on the New York stock exchange where the Etihad club are now valued at $3 billion compared with United’s valuation of $3.05 billion.
The deal is also a significant step towards realizing the Premier League club’s ambition to expand globally as well as reflecting the growing Chinese interest in the football industry and willingness to significantly invest in the game.
As well as Manchester City, CFG also owns New York City FC and Melbourne City FC and is a minority shareholder in Japanese club Yokohama F. Marinos.
Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of City Football Group, referred to “the incredible potential that exists in China, both for CFG and for football at large.”
CMC chairman Ruigang Li said: “We and our consortium partner CITIC Capital also see this investment as a prime opportunity for furthering the contribution of China to the global football family.”
The announcement comes a month after Chinese president and avid football fan Xi Jinping was given a tour of Manchester City during his state visit to Britain and even stopped to get a selfie with striker Sergio Aguero.
— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) October 23, 2015
It also comes a week after Sven-Goran Eriksson told the media that he hopes that Wayne Rooney will join the Chinese Super League once his contract runs out with Man United.
By Daniel Paul