SWFs Eye Sports For Profit — and Benefits

June 25, 2015 by Loch Adamson

Sovereign wealth funds are investing in sports franchises, hoping to generate publicity and business opportunities.
History in the making: How SWFs are eyeing sport investment opporunities
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Khadem al-Qubaisi with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Florentino Perez Sovereign wealth funds are investing in sports franchises, hoping to generate publicity and business opportunities. But these deals may draw unwelcome scrutiny. It was history in the making. On May 13, 2012, Manchester City’s striker Sergio Aguero scored a last-minute goal against Queens Park Rangers in England’s Premier League. The final match of the season, City’s 3-2 victory secured the club its first league championship in 44 years. After the final whistle, City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak celebrated in the stands, twirling a sky-blue scarf in the air. Al-Mubarak had held the post since 2008. That was the year Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), a private equity firm founded with the personal fortune of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of the emirate’s royal family, bought the club for undisclosed terms. (The seller was Thaksin Shinawatra, the former…

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