Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Nov 28 : City Football Group (CFG) has agreed on a deal to acquire a majority stake in Mumbai City FC of the Indian Super League (ISL), marking a major move into Indian football on Thursday.
CFG will become the 65 per cent majority shareholder of the Club, alongside existing shareholders, acclaimed actor and film producer, Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh who combined will hold the remaining 35 per cent of shares. The completion of the investment remains subject to the approval of certain football bodies.
News of the acquisition was revealed today in front of the Club’s fans by CFG Chief Executive Officer, Ferran Soriano together with Chairperson, Football Sports Development Limited and Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani.
The deal will see Mumbai City FC benefit from the Group’s commercial and football know-how, whilst at the same time delivering a new and exciting element to the CFG global commercial platform.
Mumbai City FC plays its home games at the 8,000 capacity Mumbai Football Arena, which sits within the Andheri Sports Complex, a multi-purpose sports facility. The team has played five games in the ongoing sixth ISL season.
CFG which is best known for its ownership of English Premier League Champions, Manchester City FC, also comprises New York City in the US, Melbourne City FC in Australia, Yokohama F Marinos in Japan, Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay, Girona FC in Spain and Sichuan Jiuniu FC in China.
CFG’s operations will now include eight football clubs and football-related businesses in 13 offices around the world.
Through its Cityzens Giving campaign, CFG has also supported community programs spanning six continents, including Mumbai in its 2019 edition.
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 the Group at USD 4.8bn.
Last week, also saw Manchester City FC release its annual report with record revenues and fifth continued year of profits, at the same time as representatives visited India as part of the Club’s trophy tour.
Commenting on the acquisition and the opportunities it brings to all parties, Chairman of City Football Group Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in an official statement: “We believe that this investment will deliver transformative benefits to Mumbai City FC, to City Football Group and to Indian Football as a whole. City Football Group is committed to the future of football in India and to the potential for Mumbai City FC within that future.”
“We are very much looking forward to playing an active role in Mumbai City FC’s fan and local communities, and working with our co-owners to further develop the Club as quickly as possible,” he added.
Welcoming the CFG to the ISL and Indian football, Nita Ambani said: “It’s a landmark occasion that celebrates the remarkable rise of Indian football and brings to life our vision for the beautiful game in India.”
“The power and potential of our youth make India the most exciting global opportunity in the world today, in every field, and especially in sport. On behalf of all Indian football stakeholders, I welcome City Football Group and thank them for their interest and belief in Indian football. I am sure Mumbai City FC and Indian football will benefit greatly from this historic partnership,” she added.
As part of the announcement, CFG also appointed Senior Vice President of Partnerships, Damian Willoughby, as Chief Executive Officer of CFG India. Damian will be relocating from Singapore to Mumbai in the coming weeks.