Arctos Sports Partners is investing in Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.
The deal, which closed last week, was announced Monday morning. While terms weren’t provided, someone familiar with the agreement said it values the company, which also owns the Prudential Center and a handful of other businesses, at more than $3 billion.
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The deal gives Arctos the right to buy a little more than 5% of HBSE over time, said the person, who was granted anonymity because the details are private. The specific timeline of those options weren’t shared. Representatives for both HBSE and Arctos declined to comment.
It’s the latest move in the fund’s rapidly growing sports portfolio. Arctos has raised at least $5 billion across multiple funds and already executed at least 18 deals, including investments into multiple teams in the NHL, NBA, MLB and English Premier League.
Led by co-founders Josh Harris and David Blitzer, HBSE contains the two major franchises, plus a handful of ancillary additive businesses—the template for the modern sports platform company. The other assets include the Prudential Center, where the Devils play, a pair of minor league teams, esports orgs, an innovation lab, a venture fund and a real estate company.
There are already business ties between Arctos and HBSE. Earlier this year Arctos invested in Elevate Sports Ventures, the consultancy that HBSE co-launched in 2018. Arctos is also an investor in MLS club Real Salt Lake, which Blitzer bought in January. (Arctos was not, however, involved in the Harris/Blitzer bid for Chelsea, or Harris’ ongoing bid for the NFL’s Broncos).
Launched in 2019, Arctos has raised at least $3.1 billion in its first fund, according to a recent regulatory filing, and $1.1 billion in another, according an email sent to clients last month. Buoyed by new ownership rules in leagues like the NBA and NHL, which now allow PE firms to buy chunks of teams, the group has moved quickly to build the industry’s broadest sports franchise portfolio.
In addition to Real Salt Lake and Elevate, Arctos’ investments include the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Minnesota Wild, Premier Lacrosse League and Italian soccer club Atalanta. The group has also invested in at least six MLB teams—including the Dodgers, Giants, Cubs and, through Fenway Sports Group, the Red Sox.
Blitzer and Harris have become prominent sports investors both individually and as a partners. They teamed up on a bid for Chelsea, losing out to a Todd Boehly-led consortium, and Harris is one of at least five bidders still involved in the Broncos auction. They’re both investors in the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Premier League club Crystal Palace, which are outside the HBSE umbrella.
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