Manchester City’s owners have sold a 13% stake in the club’s parent company to Chinese investors.
The City Football Group (CFG), parent company of the former Premier League champions, has sold the stake to a consortium of CMC (China Media Capital) and investment company CITIC Capital.
The investment of US$400m, which is subject to regulatory approval in some territories, follows six months of talks and is aimed at expanding CFG’s interests in the Chinese football industry.
The deal sees new shares issued in CFG in addition to those owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), the investment and development company privately owned by Sheikh Mansour of the Abu Dhabi royal family.
Prior to the investment ADUG was the sole shareholder of CFG which owns Manchester City, New York City FC, Melbourne City FC and is a minority shareholder in Yokohama F. Marinos.
CMC chairman Ruigang Li will represent the consortium at CFG by becoming its seventh board member.
Khaladon Al Mubarak, chairman of CFG, said: “Football is the most loved, played and watched sport in the world and in China, the exponential growth pathway for the game is both unique and hugely exciting.
“We have therefore worked hard to find the right partners and to create the right deal structure to leverage the incredible potential that exists in China, both for CFG and for football at large.”
Li said: “With its unique business model and distinct successes, City Football Group, whom we have come to know well, represents a differentiated systematic approach to building a global platform for football know-how, player development, academy programmes and commercial partnerships that will benefit China’s football industry on multiple levels.
“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.”