Fenway Sports Group Closes Deal With RedBird and LeBron James

The Fenway Sports Group announced Wednesday “a significant investment in the Group by RedBird Capital Partners,” who are joined in the venture by LeBron James and Maverick Carter.

The investment by RedBird into FSG is based on an enterprise valuation for FSG of $7.35 billion. FSG owns the Boston Red Sox and is headed by John Henry and Tom Werner. The team was valued last week by Sportico at $4.8 billion, second in Major League Baseball behind the New York Yankees at $6.75 billion.

RedBird is headed by founder and managing partner Gerry Cardinale.

As part of the overall transaction, LeBron James, Maverick Carter and their longtime business partner Paul Wachter will exchange a previously held interest in Liverpool Football Club and become part of FSG’s ownership group along with RedBird, FSG said in a release.

“The partnership with RedBird will enhance the company’s ability to develop and launch new businesses modeled after successful growth companies built by Gerry Cardinale and RedBird,” the release said.

“Over the years, Fenway Sports Group has been able to attract a dedicated group of executives and partnerships seeking to compete for titles in the most challenging and rewarding landscapes,” Henry, Werner and FSG president Mike Gordon said in a statement. “Our strategic partnership with Gerry and the entire team at RedBird will enhance our ability to pursue future growth opportunities in a more accelerated way but with the same selectiveness that has served us so well.

“We are also pleased to welcome to our ownership group LeBron, Maverick and Paul, with whom we have enjoyed a successful collaboration for well over a decade. Their addition is an important milestone for FSG and expands and deepens a longtime friendship and relationship that began in 2010.”

FSG also had a message for fans and supporters. “Winning continues to be the driving force for all of us,” the statement said. “The growth of FSG as an organization allows us to further strengthen our resources and commitment to the communities we serve, and we look forward to having these talented new partners join us in the next chapter of FSG’s evolution.”

Bank of America served as financial advisor to FSG, and Goldman Sachs served as financial advisor to RedBird on the transaction. Shearman & Sterling served as legal advisor to FSG, while Fried Frank served as legal advisor to RedBird.

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