The minority owners of the City Football Group China Media Capital (CMC) have secured around $1.49 billion in fundraising round from investors including Chinese tech giants Alibaba Group and Tencent.
The Chinese State-backed media group along with CITIC Capital owns 13% stakes in City Football Group, a holding company that administers football clubs under the ownership of Abu Dhabi United Group.
City Football Group is known for its flagship Premier League club and the reigning champions Manchester City, in which it owns a stake. Some of the other clubs in its global football business portfolio include New York City FC, Melbourne City FC, Yokohama F. Marinos, Club Atlético Torque and Girona FC.
Founding shareholders Alibaba and Tencent and new investor China Vanke led the A-round fundraising that values CMC Inc at nearly US$6 billion.
CMC Inc is one half of the CMC media empire that spans from sports to amusement parks. CMC Capital Partners is the other half of the larger CMC group, founded by media magnate Li Ruigang, who is often portrayed as China’s version of Australian media mogul Robert Murdoch, the head of News Corp.
The fundraising comes as China’s leaders look to establish control over the media and cultural industries, where tech and internet giants Alibaba and Tencent play a major role.
“With the tech revolution driving ongoing change in how people consume content, the global media and entertainment industries are going through a new round of adjustment and change,” CMC’s Li said in a statement.