I had a thought the other day. Are there any firms that have invested in a sports team/franchise as say a 'portfolio company'?
One example, although a bit different, is Elliot Management took control of historic Italian Football team AC Milan this summer after the past owner defaulted on the debt that Elliot lent to him. Instead of flipping Milan right away, Elliot has vowed to run the team at least until the near future. So maybe this will become a case study for this area?
I know there are firms that help raise capital or help match equity partners for some teams. There are also banks that help with the sale of these teams, but the parties in the transactions are usually individuals/families.
I do understand that sports teams aren't always up for sale, but with how quickly the value of a lot of sports franchises have been growing I don't see why one firm wouldn't try their hand at a bidding for control? Or, maybe a firm buys a lower league team (i.e. a non top division European football team) and invests capital to get them to the top league and then exit when the teams value is inflated?
I know I am not backing this with any data, and I also have no knowledge of the ins and outs of running a sports franchise or the economics of that, but being a sports fan myself and in the industry I thought this was an interesting topic.
I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts or insights into the subject.