Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group have agreed a £543million investment that will allow them to continue their plans to expand Anfield and bring some financial stability after huge losses caused by the pandemic.
It has been announced that RedBird Capital Partners have agreed a ‘significant investment’ into FSG, which is believed to be worth a 10 per cent minority holding.
The size of the investment places the enterprise value of FSG, who also own baseball giants Boston Red Sox and took complete control of Liverpool in 2010, at $7.35billion (£5.3bn).
The reigning Premier League champions are understood to be hopeful the new deal will bring some much-needed financial stability after they suffered an estimated £120m loss in revenues during the pandemic.
The new investment will also ease the burden on FSG, and it is expected that it will remove the risk of Liverpool’s plans to redevelop the Anfield Road Stand.
Liverpool are currently in the process of gaining planning permission to extend the capacity of Anfield to 61,000.
The club want to redevelop the Anfield Road Stand, which sits opposite to the Kop and it is thought it will cost £60m.
It is also set to allow for funding to sign new players in the summer transfer window and beyond but it is thought FSG will not deviate from their calculated style in the transfer market as a result.
NBA star LeBron James and his business partners Maverick Carter and Paul Wachter will become part of FSG’s ownership group along with RedBird.
James, Carter and Wachter had previously held minority stakes in Liverpool. The deal will see the trio exchange those for a minority ownership position in FSG.
FSG’s principal owner John W Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordon said: ‘Our strategic partnership with Gerry [Cardinale – founder and managing partner of RedBird], and the entire team will enhance our ability to pursue future growth opportunities in a more accelerated way but with the same selectiveness that has served us so well.
‘We are also pleased to welcome to our ownership group LeBron, Maverick and Paul, with whom we have enjoyed a successful collaboration for well over a decade.
‘Their addition is an important milestone for FSG and expands and deepens a long-time friendship and relationship that began in 2010.
‘To our fans and supporters: Winning continues to be the driving force for all of us.
‘The growth of FSG as an organisation allows us to further strengthen our resources and commitment to the communities we serve, and we look forward to having these talented new partners join us in the next chapter of FSG’s evolution.’
Cardinale added: ‘We look forward to contributing our experience growing premier sports properties and working alongside this tremendous leadership team.’
It comes after FSG ended talks to sell a minority stake in January to RedBall Acquisition Corp, a blank-check firm co-chaired by baseball executive Billy Beane.
The agreement would have merged FSG with RedBall in a deal that would have valued the combined company at around $8bn (£5.8bn), including debt.
Liverpool ended a 30-year wait to be crowned top-flight champions last year, but they currently sit seventh in the Premier League, 23 points behind leaders Manchester City.