A consortium of company from China will invest $400 million for a minority share of the Manchester City FC football (soccer) franchise, as buyers from China search the globe for assets involved in entertainment.
Citic Capital Holdings and China Media Capital Holdings are acquiring just more than 13% of the football group that owns Manchester City, which plays in the English Premier League the top professional league in England and other assets related to the sport.
This deal would put a value of $3 billion on the City Football Group. The group is controlled by an investment company in Abu Dhabi.
Investors from China including Tencent Holdings the Internet giant to Dalian Wanda the property conglomerate have snatched up film rights and sporting events with the goal of using that content to attract viewers from China to their own platforms.
This past January Tencent beat Leshi Internet and Technology Corporation for five-year exclusive rights online for the NBA for mainland China. The deal, said people close the situation, said it was worth over $500 million.
Last August, Chinese company Dalian Wanda acquired Ironman triathlon races for $650 million and debt assumption from Providence Equity Partners.
Wanda paid another $2.6 billion for AMC Entertainment the movie theater chain across the U.S.
Since 2012, soccer in Europe and in particular that of the English Premier League, enjoyed a fantastic fan base across China.
Other investors from China have also been snapping up shares in La Liga the topflight soccer league in Spain. Dalian Wanda spent $52 million for a stake of 20% in Atletico Madrid soccer club this past January.
Rastar Group, an entertainment company in China recently agreed to acquire a 56% share in Espanyol based in Barcelona and another professional soccer club.
Searching for sports rights that are high profile across Europe comes during a time when China has struggled in developing competition that is top-tier in its own sports leagues.
Manchester City emerged as one of the top clubs in the Premier League since United Group of Abu Dhabi bought it in 2008. The club is currently in first place in front of Leicester city and Manchester United.