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City Football Group picks up 65% in ISL’s Mumbai City FC

CFG is the world’s leading private owner and operator of football clubs. Apart from Premier League winner Manchester City, CFG also owns clubs in US, Australia, Japan, Uruguay, Spain and China. The deal was announced on Thursday by Nita Ambani, chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), which owns ISL, and Reliance Foundation.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 28, 2019, 08.36 PM IST
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Agencies
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CFG will now have eight football clubs and football related businesses in 13 offices around the world.
MUMBAI: In a major boost to Indian football and Indian Super League (ISL), Manchester City owner City Football Group (CFG) has decided to acquire 65% stake in Mumbai City FC, the franchise co-owned by Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor and film producer Bimal Parekh. Post completion of investment, which is subject to approvals of certain football bodies, Kapoor and Parekh will jointly hold the remaining 35% in the club.

CFG is the world’s leading private owner and operator of football clubs. Apart from Premier League winner Manchester City, CFG also owns clubs in US, Australia, Japan, Uruguay, Spain and China.

The deal was announced on Thursday by Nita Ambani, chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), which owns ISL, and Reliance Foundation.

“I am delighted and proud to announce that the City Football Group has acquired a majority stake in Mumbai City FC. This is for the first time ever that a European football club has acquired majority stake in an Indian club. This is a very big day for the Indian football,” Ambani said.

Talking to ET, she said that this is just the beginning and she hopes that this deal will encourage other international sports and investment companies to invest in India too. “I am sure that this will open the floodgates and many international investors will come to India. I believe in the Indian football story and I hope to see Indian team playing in the FIFA World Cup in my lifetime,” Ambani said.

The investment will deliver transformative benefits to Mumbai City FC, CFG and Indian football as a whole, commented Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of CFG. “CFG is committed to the future of football in India and to the potential for Mumbai City FC. We are looking forward to playing an active role in the club’s fan and local communities, and working with oue co-owners to further develop the club as quickly as possible,” Mubarak said.

CFG will now have eight football clubs and football related businesses in 13 offices around the world. The Group has expanded significantly since its inception in March 2013, and now employs more than 2,000 staff and has more than 1,500 footballers who play over 2,500 games every year.

The announcement comes in a busy period for CFG. Just prior to closing this deal to acquire Mumbai City FC, the group confirmed a new equity investment from Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing, valuing CFG at $4.8 billion.

CFG has also decided to open India office and has named Damian Willoughby, currently SVP – partnerships, as CEO of the India office. He will relocate to Mumbai from his Singapore office in the coming weeks.

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