CFG announce Chinese partnership

The owners of Manchester City FC, City Football Group (CFG), have announced a partnership with a Chinese consortium, who now own a 13 per cent stake in the Premier League outfit's parent company.

The deal will see CMC (China Media Capital) Holdings invest US$400 million in CFG, although the deal is yet to be ratified by the relevant football associations in various territories.

Commenting on the deal, 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."

He added: "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."

Speaking on behalf of CMC Holdings, Chairman Ruigang Li said: "Football is now at a fascinating and critical stage of development in China.  

"We see unprecedented growth opportunities in both its development as an industry, being China's most watched sport, and its inspirational role bringing people of all ages together with a shared passion.

CMC has long been dedicated to creating opportunities that facilitate positive developments in Chinese football from different aspects within the ecosystem.

"With its unique business model and distinct successes, City Football Group, whom we have come to know well, represents a differentiated systematic approach to building a global platform for football know-how, player development, academy programmes and commercial partnerships that will benefit China's football industry on multiple levels.

"We and our consortium partner CITIC Capital also see this investment as a prime opportunity for furthering the contribution of China to the global football family."

Prior to the deal being announced, Sheikh Mansour, owner of the Abu Dhabi United Group, was the sole shareholder in CFG. The Premier League club was bought for a fee of 210 million pounds in 2008 and the new deal values CFG at US$3 billion.

CFG also own controlling stakes in Melbourne City FC and New York City FC, while they have a minority share in Japanese side Yokohama F. Marinos.

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