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Manchester City-owner raises $650m in mega debt deal

·2-min read
Manchester City celebrates after winning the 2020-21 English Premier League. Photo: Reuters
Manchester City celebrates after winning the 2020-21 English Premier League. Photo: Reuters

Manchester City’s parent company City Football Group has reportedly raised $650m (£470m) in one of the biggest ever debt deals the game has seen, as it looks to increase investment in its international network of clubs.

The loan will come due in July 2028, the FT reported, and was underwritten by Barclays (BARC.L).

HSBC (HSBA.L) and KKR Capital Markets assisted in arranging and distributing the debt, people familiar said.

Separately, CFG has also organised a revolving credit facility worth £100m ($138m) with the same finance providers.

CFG, which also owns clubs in the US, Australia and India, is a British-based holding company. It is majority owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group, a private equity company owned by billionaire and UAE deputy prime minister Sheikh Mansour.

The company's revenue for the year to June was down 14% to £544m and it posted a loss of £205m as a result of lower ticker and broadcast revenue. .

Yahoo Finance UK reached out to CFG but hadn’t heard back at the time of writing.

‘’This deal is indicative of the trend for the biggest footballing brands to develop into sporting supergroups and find growth through investment into other teams worldwide,” Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, told Yahoo Finance UK.

“This will give City Football Group the financial firepower to develop its global footprint.”

The deal surpasses the €525m (£448m, $619m) debt refinancing arrangement between Goldman Sachs (GS) and Spain’s FC Barcelona agreed in June.

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It also beats a deal made by England’s Tottenham Hotspur, which borrowed £637m a couple of years ago from several banks to build its new stadium.

CFG plans to use the funds for infrastructure projects including a new venue for its Major League Soccer franchise New York City FC.

The deal comes not long after the collapse of the European Super League.

City was among 12 clubs planning to form a breakaway rival to the Champions League. The move would have seen the clubs make nearly three times as much money.

Streeter said "CFG’s ambitions to compete exclusively with the world’s biggest football brands may have taken a back step due to the own goal failure of the break-away European Super League, but this shows its ambition to compete on a global financial level."

“Football fans might mourn the growing gulf between the rich elite of clubs and the grass roots but this deal will cement City Football Group in the global league of sporting giants.’’

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