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               Private Equity investment in A League football                                                                      THE JOURNAL OF SPORT,  LEISURE & RISK  WITH AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE             March 2022



              Private Equity investment


              in A League football






               Tim Mottram, independent sports journalist

               Here in Australia, private equity technology investment specialists Silver Lake have
               struck the deal with the Australian Professional Leagues (APL), which is responsible
               for the operation and commercialisation of the country’s professional football
               competitions.


              The deal is for a 30 per cent stake in
              the body and is worth approximately
              $130 million. The investment will be used
              primarily to expand upon APL’s new                                                                                                                                             The investment
              digital media platform, KeepUp, which
              offers a direct-to-consumer experience                                                                                                                                         will be used
               for fans of both Australian and
              international football.                          Both leagues also have new naming rights                                                                                      primarily to
                                                               sponsors, while a new five-year collective
              It’s also expected some of the funds will        bargaining agreement with the player’s                                                                                        expand upon
              be made available to clubs for marquee           union Professional Footballers Australia                                                                                      APL’s new
              player investments, with a specific              was announced in September.
              focus on the A-League Women and                                                                                                                                                digital media
              Youth competitions. Unique community             Silver Lake, which is based in California,
              engagement methods will also be                  has an estimated $US88 billion ($123.3                                                                                        platform,
              developed as part of the deal.                   billion) in assets under management and
                                                               has invested in sports regularly over the                                                                                     KeepUp, which
              Under the terms of the transaction, the          past couple of years including a $US500
              APL has been valued at approximately             million deal to buy a 10 per cent stake                                                                                       offers a direct-
              $425 million.                                    in the City Football Group — the parent                                                                                       to-consumer
                                                               company of English Premier League
              APL took over the running of the                 champions Manchester City and A-League                                                                                        experience for
              A-Leagues in an unbundling from                  Mens champions Melbourne City.
              Football Australia in December last year.                                                                                                                                      fans of both
              The 2021-22 season has been the first
              campaign to be fully operated under                                                                                                                                            Australian and
              the APL’s charge with a new broadcast
              partner in ViacomCBS via Network 10                                                                                                                                            international
                                                                                                                                                                                             football.
              and the Paramount Plus streaming app.













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