Billionaire Jeff Skoll Buys Minority Stake In Sports Team Consortium Monumental
A noteworthy acquisition has emerged from the sports sector. Jeff Skoll, a tech billionaire, has purchased a minority stake in…
A noteworthy acquisition has emerged from the sports sector. Jeff Skoll, a tech billionaire, has purchased a minority stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), the parent firm of several well-known sports teams including the NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals, and WNBA’s Washington Mystics.
The terms of Skoll’s investment weren’t disclosed by Monumental. But, according to a Forbes report, Skoll invested $300mn in a deal that valued Monumental at $4.1bn including debt. The report says Skoll acquired less than 10% of the sports team consortium.
- Skoll made his fortune as the first full-time employee and President of online marketplace eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY). He left eBay in 2001 to focus on other business and philanthropic endeavors. His fortune is valued at over $5 billion (Bloomberg Billionaires Index), enough to afford his reported $300mn investment in Monumental.
- Monumental was founded by Ted Leonsis, who made a fortune as an executive at AOL, once America’s biggest internet company, before pivoting his attention toward sports teams. Leonsis acquired the Washington Wizards, Monumental’s best-known franchise, in 2010 and has owned the NHL’s Washington Capitals since 1999.
Sports franchises are a big and still booming business. This year witnessed the first and third-biggest sports team sales ever; the NFL’s Denver Broncos sold for $4.65bn to an ownership group led by businessman Rob Walton and soccer team Chelsea F.C. sold for $3.1bn to a group led by U.S. investor Todd Boehly. Sports franchises are a relatively safe path for billionaires with big bucks to park their money and earn profits after years of ownership.
The average value of sports franchises has continued to increase over the past decade, so you can expect to see more big M&A deals in the sector.