City Football Club acquires majority stake in Mumbai City FC

City Football Group (CFG), owner of the Premier League club Manchester City, has confirmed a deal to acquire a majority stake in the Indian Super League club Mumbai City FC. With this deal, City Football Club will become the 65% majority shareholder of the Mumbai City FC.

Existing shareholders, cine star Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh will jointly hold the remaining 35% stake. Completion of the investment remains subject to the approval of certain football governing and statutory bodies.

The deal will see Mumbai City FC benefit from the CFG’s commercial and football know-how, whilst at the same time delivering a new and exciting element to the CFG global commercial platform.

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News of the acquisition was revealed today (Thursday) 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.

“Today we welcome a global footballing powerhouse to India, the ISL and Indian Football. I am proud to announce that the City football group has acquired majority stake in Mumbai City FC. For the first time, a European football club has acquired majority stake in an Indian club. What a big day for Indian football, what a dream come true for all the fans of Manchester City and Mumbai City FC,” said Neeta Ambani said.

“I wish the team (Mumbai City FC) all the very best as they usher into this new era of Indian football. I want to thank City Football Group for their belief in Indian football.”

CFG, the world’s leading private owner and operator of football clubs, 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. 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. Through its Cityzens Giving campaign, CFG has also supported community programmes 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 $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: “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.”

The deal marks a massive step for Indian football, and if City can come through with this promise, we should soon see more such acquisitions by big groups.

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