Liverpool FC, leaders, citizens and more: why so many teams are shopping for
Liverpool FC, join the party.
The news that the owners of the European-American soccer giant are considering a sale means there is another sports team on the market, attracting many of the same group of wealthy buyers.
FSG offers Liverpool for sale
Industry insiders say they don’t remember a time when a large number of professional sports teams were on sale at the same time, which now stands at at least six. This does not include the many Limited Partner (LP) stakes that are often on the market, the planned expansion of leagues such as the MLS and NWSL, or the teams that are unofficially available at the right price.
“I have sold two large stakes of LP this year – one basketball, one baseball – I am working on another huge stake in LP in baseball at the moment. One sports investment banker, who requested anonymity due to the confidential nature of the assignments, said, “No one will ever read about it.”
There are individual circumstances behind each potential sale. Washington’s leaders are likely to be up for sale due to the long-running affair of Daniel Snyder. Senators are selling in Ottawa because the owner, Eugene Melnick, recently passed away. The Phoenix Suns is available due to the NBA’s lobbying campaign to force owner Robert Sarver to sell after it was discovered he was heading an abusive workplace and used racial insults.
All duly noted, the owners also clearly note the high prices for sports teams, with limited partner stakes now requiring as much money as it did to buy an entire team just a few years ago. Obviously for Sarver and Snyder, the eye-catching sums that can help overcome the reticence of letting go of their cherished teams.
“Banner deal after banner deal and so people are like, ‘Jeez, like, might sell now too,'” said Andrew Klein, founder and managing partner of Park Lane, which runs sports investment bank. People put their teams up in the market.”
Klein also points to pent-up demand from the COVID-19 era when teams were difficult to sell in that environment as sports franchises suffered heavy losses due to fans being banned or their attendance restricted. So the owners were less willing to put the difference up for sale because it could be seen as a faltering move resulting from financial losses, which would lower the price.
But why do prices keep going up if there are so many differentials in the market? In classical economics 101, when there is greater supply for something, prices moderate if not fall. Build a set of apartment towers in a small town with a large stock of housing, and new homes won’t cost a fortune. But sport has its own unique ecosystem.
Firstly, it is not only possible to build new sports teams, this is an exclusive oceanfront property and hands rarely change because there is an artificial ceiling on the number of teams set by tournaments. So, while the Denver Broncos sold for $4.65 billion in August, the leaders will likely go with more than $6 billion — if Snyder sells — to a buyer who wants to join the rarefied air that NFL owners breathe.
Buyer groups also do not always overlap between tournaments, hockey enthusiasts may not be of the same type to bid for the EPL team (although Fenway Sports owns the Pittsburgh Penguins).
“Someone who’s a hockey fan, you know, who’s always been interested in getting an NHL team is the one who’s going to buy the Senators,” said Randy Fataha, a sports investment banker who advised Melnick on the purchase but had no role in the game. Currently selling. “I don’t think a buyer of this team would necessarily be a buyer of an NFL team, and probably not, for any of the other teams is my guess.”
Bidders may overlap for the EPL and NFL teams, as they did for the Broncos and Chelsea FC. Chelsea Final Buyers, a group led by Todd Boyle, also submitted a bid for the Denver franchise. But this did not at all affect the record prices set by the two transactions, an achievement that may be short-lived with Liverpool and the leaders and may change after that.
What drives racing regardless of league is the sport’s unique place in the segmented media ecosystem as a must-have live content. Cable operators want it to be the last-minute media that ties the traditional cable bundle together, while the new generation of broadcasters want their merchandise to stand out from the competition.
“There has never been a better time in world history to be a sports rights owner,” Klein said. “You see these network deals, they keep going up, because these networks are those huge entities. And I think the thing that proves the best content is live sports.”
Here’s a look at the teams for sale, at least the well-known ones.
The team hired Galatioto Sports Partners to handle the process. Of the Grand Slams in North America, only the NHL has not sold for $1 billion, with Fenway Sports’ 2021 purchase of the Penguins at $900 million. This deal is unlikely to top that given the small market and low standing of senators.
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Los Angeles Angels
Another team that hired Galatioto Sports, owner Arte Moreno, has struggled with his two-decade ownership of putting together a competitive team and securing a new stadium. The last MLB team to sell was the New York Mets in 2020 to Steve Cohen for $2.2 billion. Angels will be hard pressed to match.
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The team hired Allen & Co. in April to secure a buyer and the process continued. One issue is the team’s lawsuit over rights fees received from cable port MASN, a stubborn case for nearly a decade. Allen & Co. A target price of $2.5 billion, which may be high.
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The team likely won’t be sold, but this year it hired Goldman Sachs to test the situation. The sons of ailing owner Peter Angelos are suing each other over the team’s future, so the litigation must be resolved first.
Orioles hired Goldman to evaluate the sale
The team hired Moelis & Co. To advise on a sale. The unanswered question is how much of the team is for sale. Sarver owns 35 percent of the control shares, but only one LP owns the right to acquire its sale (together they account for 40 percent). If the buyer only needs to get four-tenths of the team, he may be willing to pay a premium for it. Talk is that the team could fetch more than $3 billion, although some in sports finance warn that Phoenix is not in the top 10 and that the regional sports network that the NBA depends on is at risk.
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If Chelsea is sold for $3.2 billion, there is no reason not to buy this deal for equal if not more. The demand is more international than for US sports properties, with buyers not only from the US but from Asia, the Middle East and Europe always in the mix of EPL clubs.
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Whether Snyder really wants to sell is the million dollar question, or perhaps I’d rather put the six billion dollars. It would take as much, if not more, to get Snyder to relent and sell the team. Anything less than that and other owners will worry about their franchise values and ironically might encourage them not to sell. That’s why Jeff Bezos makes so much sense here, but can Snyder get past his venom for The Washington Post, which is owned by the Amazon boss?
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(Top photo of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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