Masters of the Universe Are Taking Over Your Local Sports Teams | Anthony S Casey Singapore

Hedge fund manager Steven Cohen is in talks to acquire a majority share of the Mets. 
Hedge fund manager Steven Cohen is in talks to acquire a majority share of the Mets. Photo Illustration: Bloomberg; Getty Images (2)

If Steve Cohen’s bid for the New York Mets succeeds, he’ll find himself in familiar company.

Hedge fund managers and private equity titans are an increasingly common sight in the owners’ boxes of Major League Baseball teams, including former trader John Henry at Boston’s Fenway Park, Guggenheim Partners’ Mark Walter at Dodger Stadium and Crescent Capital’s Mark Attanasio at Miller Park in Milwaukee.

Chelsea free to spend after winning transfer ban appeal | Sport | The Times | Anthony S Casey Singapore

Lampard has already indicated that he wants to strengthen his squad
Lampard has already indicated that he wants to strengthen his squad. JUSTIN SETTERFIELD/GETTY IMAGES

Chelsea will be free to splash the cash in January after the club successfully challenged the transfer ban imposed by Fifa for breaches of rules involving signing young players.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that the two-window ban imposed by Fifa should be halved — and as Chelsea served the first half of that ban during the summer Frank Lampard can now strengthen his squad in January.

Lampard has a £150 million transfer fund to tap into and the club are interested in several targets including Ben Chilwell, the Leicester City and England left back, and Wilfried Zaha, the winger who has been unsettled at Crystal Palace.

Fifa banned Chelsea for two windows in March for having breached rules in 150 cases.

Manchester City: Silver Lake buys $500 million stake in soccer club | Anthony S Casey Singapore

London (CNN Business)US private equity giant Silver Lake is investing $500 million in the owner of Manchester City, a deal that values the soccer group at nearly $5 billion and signals a concerted move by the veteran tech investors into sports.

Under the agreement announced Wednesday, Silver Lake will buy just over 10% of City Football Group, which is controlled by United Arab Emirates royal Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In addition to the English Premier League champions Manchester City, the soccer group owns teams in the United States, Australia, China, Japan, Spain and Uruguay.
“Silver Lake is a global leader in technology investing, and we are delighted by both the validation that their investment in CFG represents, and the opportunities for further growth that their partnership brings,” Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the chairman of City Football Group, said in a statement.
CFG said it was worth $4.8 billion as a consequence of the deal, a record valuation for a soccer franchise, according to the consultancy Brand Finance.
“Within world football, this is almost certainly the largest ever sports enterprise valuation,” said Bryn Anderson, director of sports services at Brand Finance. “When we look at major league baseball and the eye watering deals in the NFL and even e-sports now, this news will no doubt cause ripples across the sporting and private equity worlds.”
Alibaba (BABA) co-founder Joe Tsai took sole ownership of Brooklyn Nets earlier this year, a deal that reportedly valued the basketball team at $2.35 billion, a US record. Manchester City’s cross town rival, Manchester United (MANU), has a stock market value of $2.75 billion.
Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of City Football Group, takes in a match.

Silver Lake has over $43 billion in assets under management, and is best known for its investments in tech companies including Alibaba (BABA), Tesla (TSLA) and Dell (DELL). But the firm has turned its attention to entertainment and live events in recent years, picking up stakes in The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) and mixed martial arts league UFC.
The investment in Manchester City vaults Silver Lake into a new league when it comes to sports. England’s top soccer clubs have attracted huge international fan bases and owners with extremely deep pockets. Chelsea is owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, while Americans control both Arsenal and European champions Liverpool.
Yet the deal is not without risks for Silver Lake. Human rights groups have attacked Manchester City’s owners, describing the UAE royal family’s purchase of the club in 2008 as an attempt to “sportswash” its image and distract from the country’s human rights record.
Pep Guardiola, manager of Manchester City, during a Premier League match against Chelsea.

Manchester City is also being scrutinized for potential unfair financial practices. UEFA, European football’s governing body, has been investigating the club for possible breaches of its Financial Fair Play regulations, which are supposed to stop clubs from getting into unmanageable debt or allowing wealthy benefactors to give top teams an unfair advantage.
Manchester City has denied wrongdoing, but it could be banned from the prestigious Champions League for a year if soccer authorities rule against the club.
Forbes Magazine estimated earlier this year that Manchester City was worth $2.69 billion, making it the world’s 25th most valuable sports team. The magazine said that soccer clubs Bayern Munich ($3.02 billion), Manchester United ($3.8 billion), Barcelona ($4.02 billion) and Real Madrid ($4.24 billion) were all worth more.
The New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys topped the ranking with estimated valuations of $4.6 billion and $5 billion, respectively.

BT Sport Adds Prime Video to Boxes Ahead of Amazon’s Premier League Debut | Anthony S Casey Singapore

BT Sport adds Prime Video to boxes ahead of Amazon’s Premier League debut
​BT has added access to Amazon Prime Video to its set-top box ahead of internet giant’s upcoming debut as a UK Premier League broadcaster.

With BT Sport adding access to the over-the-top (OTT) subscription service via its own hardware, the UK pay-TV broadcaster is activating the deal by offering its own subscribers a free six-month trial to Amazon’s streaming product.

The announcement comes as Amazon prepares to stream its first full round of English top-flight soccer matches in early December. Having secured a package of 20 games for the ongoing 2019/20 campaign in June 2018, Amazon announced earlier this year that it would become the first UK broadcaster to provide coverage of a full round of live Premier League matches as part of its offer.

Though the terms of the deal were not fully disclosed, the arrangement gives BT Sport’s subscribers access to 40 live Premier League fixtures throughout December and January.

Pete Oliver, BT’s Managing Director for Consumer Marketing, said: “With six months [of] Amazon Prime Video on us, offering access to even more Premier League matches, all in one place with integrated search and one simple bill, there’s never been a better time to be on BT TV.”

The move also means that BT TV set-top box owners will get access to every Premier League fixture this season, including coverage of matches it distributes as part of its carriage deal with rival pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports.

The deal with BT represent Amazon’s latest distribution contract in the UK after securing carriage of its streaming platform via Virgin Media V6 set-top boxes earlier this year.

In addition to its Premier League coverage, BT Sport has recently retained exclusive Uefa Champions League as part of a new four year deal worth US$1.5 billion that keeps European soccer’s premier club competition on its channels through to the end of the 2023/24 season.

Michigan Retirement likes the sound of its Concord Music stake | Anthony S Casey Singapore

Ariana Grande’s song ‘7 Rings’ has also been a hit for a Michigan pension fund. Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection/Alamy

The new song “7 Rings” has been an hit for pop star Ariana Grande. And while that’s no surprise given her career success, the fact that the $69.5 billion Michigan Retirement Systems, East Lansing, is making money off of it might be.

The pension fund owns roughly 93% of Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Concord Music, which has a catalog featuring a wide array of artists, including the songs of the musical theater legends Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, according to Jon Braeutigam Michigan deputy treasurer.

Among their many hits, the duo wrote “The Sound of Music,” which opened on Broadway in 1959. Sixty years later, 90% of the songwriting royalties from Ms. Grande’s new song, which is a spin on the tune “My Favorite Things,” goes to Concord, Mr. Braeutigam said.

Michigan made its first investment into Concord in 2010 with a $25 million commitment through Wood Creek Capital Management, which is now Barings. Its investment now totals $1.1 billion and is worth $1.8 billion, based on a private valuation, Mr. Braeutigam said.

Though Concord is the pension fund’s lone music-centric investment, Mr. Braeutigam said it was a good opportunity to diversify the portfolio. “We thought music rights were complementary to the overall portfolio,” he said.

The initial $25 million investment was made at a time when CD sales were declining and the future of the music industry was uncertain. But Mr. Braeutigam said the State of Michigan Investment Board, which manages the pension fund, thought the music industry presented a stable investment opportunity. “We think there’s nothing wrong with cyclical businesses, but our thesis was it might prove to be less cyclical because the average purchase price is pretty low for people listening to music as opposed to big-ticket items,” he said.

With the pension fund’s Concord investment, that thesis sounds about right.

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