Raising Finance

The definitive business advent calendar: 13 December – The £265m Christmas gift

3 min read

13 December 2015

Former deputy editor

We're more than halfway through our festive countdown to 25 December and the latest surprise comes in the form of a £265m investment – timely enough to be considered a Christmas gift...

Manchester City has changed the way it operates considerably throughout 2015, showcasing the pace and ambition that a football club might seek in a new striker.

In June, the northern club embarked on an “Innovation in Sport” project to seek out creative ideas with the potential to “forge real innovation”.

“At Manchester City we are constantly looking for ways to introduce new and innovative ideas across all aspects of the club,” claimed Andrew Gilligan, head of research and insights at Manchester City FC.

It teamed with entrepreneurial business coach platform Ideas Britain for the push and officially launched it in November. With a view to embrace ideas from youngsters, whether practical or technical, Manchester City will also provide work experience opportunities to winners.

Fresh on the back of that on 1 December, it was revealed that the club had sold a 13 per cent stake to Chinese investment firm China Media Capital, with a view to secure the team wider exposure internationally.

The share was bought for £265m, a nice sum for the club at this time of the year – but even more so when you consider that’s the amount that Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour paid for the entire club back in 2008.

Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of City Football Group, said: “Football is the most loved, played and watched sport in the world and in China, the exponential growth pathway for the game is both unique and hugely exciting.

“We have therefore worked hard to find the right partners and to create the right deal structure to leverage the incredible potential that exists in China, both for CFG and for football at large.

“Our partners have an incredible track record of creating value and could not be better placed to help us further evolve City Football Group. Our belief is that we now have an unrivalled platform to grow CFG, our clubs and companies both in China and internationally and we will be working hard with our new partners to realise the potential that this deal creates.”

Come back tomorrow to find out what’s behind door number 14 of our advent calendar!

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