Chinese investors China Media Capital (CMC) and CITIC Capital have bought a 13 percent stake in the parent company of Manchester City Football Club for $400 million (377 million euros), the companies said.
“We and our consortium partner CITIC Capital also see this investment as a prime opportunity for furthering the contribution of China to the global football family,” CMC chairman Ruigang Li said.
Manchester City’s owners City Football Group (CFG) are backing the investment as part of their strategy of expanding into Chinese football.
The deal is still subject to regulatory approval.
It comes a month after Chinese president Xi Jinping was given a tour of Manchester City during a state visit to Britain.
Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi royal family, was the sole shareholder of CFG.
As well as Manchester City, who have twice won the English Premier League in recent seasons, CFG also owns New York City FC and Melbourne City FC and is a minority shareholder in Japanese club Yokohama F. Marinos.
“Football is the most loved, played and watched sport in the world and in China, the exponential growth pathway for the game is both unique and hugely exciting,” said CFG chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
“We have therefore worked hard to find the right partners and to create the right deal structure to leverage the incredible potential that exists in China, both for CFG and for football at large.”