Sixth Street — which manages more than $70 billion — is betting big on sports teams and live events

by | Aug 31, 2023 | Financial

(Click here to subscribe to the Delivering Alpha newsletter.)”It’s very difficult to buy a sports team and lose money,” Carlyle Co-Founder David Rubenstein recently said in an interview for a CNBC podcast. Historically, that purported upside has only been enjoyed by the wealthiest of the wealthy. But most major U.S. sport leagues have – just within the last few years – modified ownership rules to allow for private-equity firms to have minority stakes. Major League Baseball was the first to open its coffers to private-investment funds in 2019; a slew of other leagues followed, including the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League. Since the start of 2019, more than $120 billion in private equity and venture capital funds have been funneled into the sports industry, according to PitchBook. A big participant in that is Sixth Street Partners, a $74 billion behemoth, known historically for its direct lending and growth prowess, and has been making big inroads in the sports world in recent years, with several billion dollars’ worth of investments. The firm recently co-founded Bay FC, part of the National Women’s Soccer League, alongside several retired players, as well as Sheryl Sandberg. Sixth Street also made investments in FC Barcelona’s LaLiga TV broadcasting rights and a majority investment in Legends, a sports and entertainment experiences company. In June 2021, Sixth Street led a strategic investment with Michael Dell in the San Antonio Spurs basketball team.  Alan Waxman, the CEO and co-founder of the firm, spoke exclusively for the Delivering Alpha Newsletter – in his first-ever TV inter …

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