Investment

Family offices line up to buy football clubs

A few days after a family investment group bought A.S.Roma a group of UK-based family/principal offices have bid for another prominent Italian football club. 

Gestio Capital, a London-based family office, and Aver Ventures, owned by Italian sports investor Andrea Radrizzani, have presented a proposal to buy Genoa, the Serie A football club based in the northern Italian port city. 

The two investment groups, together with an unnamed US private equity group, have made an undisclosed bid for Genoa, which just managed to remain in Italy’s top football league in the recently completed 2019/20 season. 

Gestio Capital, based in the West End of London, is managed and owned by Matteo Manfredi, a former investment banker. It appears to be a closed multi-family office – in other words, an investment office working with a number of wealthy families, but not actively seeking money from other families. Who those wealthy families have not been disclosed by Gestio. 

Aser Ventures, set up by Radrizzani in 2015, has rapidly built up a portfolio of sports-related investments, including UK football team Leeds United and Eleven Sports, a burgeoning force in sports media. Leeds recently was promoted to the Premiership in the UK, which has increased its value significantly – and enhancing Radrizzani’s reputation as s shrewd sports investor.

Radrizzani and Gestio’s plan for Genoa, if successful in their bid, will be to revive the fortunes of the football club, which enjoyed prominence at the top of the Italian football league more than 100 years ago.   

A.S. Roma was bought last week by The Friedkin Group/Friedkin Companies, the family office and holding group of US billionaire Dan Friedkin. The famous Italian football club was taken over from fellow American billionaire James Pallotta and his private investment group Raptor Group for a total amounting to around $700 million.

Football clubs, together with the whole area of top-flight sports teams and sports media groups, have become a bigger focus of family/principal investment groups in recent years, as analysed by Family Capital in an article published in July.

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