Investment

US family office buys prominent UK football team

A New York City-based family office has bought a majority stake in one of the top branded football sides in the English Football League as the sport in the UK continues to attract some of the deepest pocket investors in the world. 

MSD Partners, linked to MSD Capital, the family office of Michael Dell, founder of the eponymous computer company, has signed a deal to buy a majority stake in Sunderland Football Club, based in the northeast English city of Sunderland. 

Three of the top management of MSD Partners – John Phelan, Glenn Fuhrman and Robert Platek – are behind the deal and have registered a company, FPP Sunderland, in the UK to buy the stake. Reports suggest Michael Dell will be a minority shareholder in the new company. 

MSD Partners is a spinoff from MSD Capital and effectively acts as a multi-family office, bringing in outside money to do deals, with often MSD Capital money invested alongside these deals. Fuhrman and Phelan are co-managing directors of MSD Capital, and, along with Platek, a partner at MSD Partners, are likely to have some skin in the game with the Sunderland deal. 

MSD Partners is buying its stake from current owners Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven, who are believed to be saying on in a board capacity with minority stakes.  Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. 

Global investors continue to pile into the English Football League because of the potential riches from the top money-making football league in the world. Now that many of the top teams like Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea are owned by the wealthiest investors from the Middle East, China, and Russia, as well as Americans, the teams in the lower leagues have become more appealing to outside investors.  

Sunderland is currently in League One, the third tier of the English Football League, but it is one of the most recognisable and successful clubs in the league. Until the 2016-2017 season, Sunderland had spent ten years in the Premier League, the top tier of the English Football League, but was relegated after finishing last. The football club was further relegated to League One in May 2018. 

Sunderland, situated in one of the most deprived areas of the UK, is famous for its passionate fans, who have a fierce rivalry with the fans of its neighbour and Premier League side Newcastle United. Newcastle’s fans somewhat affectionately call Sunderland’s ground the Stadium of Light, the Stadium of Shite. 

 Let’s hope the new owners of Sunderland can rekindle that rivalry full throttle by taking the team back to the Premier League as soon as possible.

Subscribe

You will need a Premium Plus Subscription to access this database.

Exclusive news, analysis and research on global family enterprise and private investment offices.

Access to the most comprehensive fully interactive database on global family offices, principal investment offices, and family enterprises.

Check Deal Data, Senior Staff, and New Analysis on more than 500 family/principal investment and holding groups

Already have an account? Login

Subscribe

You need at least a Premium Subscription to read this article.

The most comprehensive information service on the global family enterprise world, featuring exclusive news, analysis, research and data on global family enterprises, family offices, and private investment offices.

Premium

£299

per year

  • Exclusive reports, analysis and commentary
  • Exclusive access to family/private investment office deal information
  • Exclusive interviews with principals and senior management of family/investment offices
SUBSCRIBE NOW

Premium+

£399

per year

  • Access to All of Premium
  • Access to all of FamilyCapital Analytics, our interactive database with more than 500 detailed profiles of family investment groups

More Info

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Already have an account? Login

You've reached the end.

Continue reading free articles by registering as a Member.
Or choose a Premium Plan.

Membership

Free

  • Exclusive reports, analysis and commentary
REGISTER NOW

Premium

£299

per year

  • Exclusive reports, analysis and commentary
  • Exclusive access to family/private investment office deal information
  • Exclusive interviews with principals and senior management of family/investment offices
SUBSCRIBE NOW

Premium+

£399

per year

  • Access to All of Premium
  • Access to all of FamilyCapital Analytics, our interactive database with more than 500 detailed profiles of family investment groups

More Info

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Already have an account? Login

Leave a Reply