Private Equity Firm Silver Lake Take One-Third Share Of Australian A-Leagues
December 14, 2021
American private equity firm Silver Lake have acquired a 33.3% stake in the Australian Professional League, which runs the county’s A-League competitions.
Back in September the men’s and women’s leagues were rebranded both under the same A-League model, with the organisation stating that ‘recasting the men’s and women’s elite competitions as partners at the top of the game, the A-Leagues will use football’s position as the country’s most inclusive sport to grow the game for everyone.’
Silver Lake’s investment clearly backs up this proposition, as the sport has been growing down under in recent years.
With this backing it is likely that they also see great potential in the A-Leagues model, with their 33.3% stake reportedly worth USD$100m, valuing the overall leagues at $300m (Aus$425m).
Australia and New Zealand will be co-hosting the Women’s World Cup in 2023, and with global superstar Sam Kerr in the Australian side there will certainly be a huge push to grow the sport across the country during that time.
Danny Townsend, APL Managing Director, says: “Silver Lake’s chosen to invest in professional football at this point in time on the back of the unbundling from the FA.
“The recent unbundling has enable us now to unlock the commercial opportunity that sits within our fantastic code. We’re really keen on growing this game to a point where we drive significant value in their investment.
“Silver Lake are a technology company that understand the benefits technology can have in media and sports properties and they’ve got a track record of doing that all over the world through investments in the UFC, MSG sports, IMG.
“It validates the strategy that APL has around taking the game forward, they’re a sophisticated investor and they saw what we’re doing here from a strategic perspective. Valuing our organisation at over 400 million dollars, that’s something they see continued growth in.
“One of the key reasons for Silver Lake’s investment is to buy into our strategy, what the future needs is a complete digital and data infrastructure change. APL’s been really committed to that in its strategy, Silver Lake is really committed to helping us to reach the potential of delivering a complete new digital change for the game.”