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Legends valued at ‘US$1.35bn’ following Sixth Street investment

Private equity firm takes 51% stake in services company founded by Yankees and Cowboys.

12 January 2021 Tom Bassam

Getty Images

  • New Mountain Capital bought out of one third holding
  • Legends capable of delivering 13% annual rate of return

Investment firm Sixth Street has acquired a majority stake in Legends, the sports experiences and services company founded with backing from US major league franchises the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys.

The new investment, according to Sportico, sees Sixth Street take a 51 per cent holding in a deal that values Legends at US$1.35 billion. The Major League Baseball (MLB) team and the National Football League (NFL) franchise will purportedly split the remaining shares.

New Mountain Capital, which acquired around a third of Legends in a deal that valued the company at more than US$700 million in 2017, is being bought out as part of the deal with Sixth Street.

The Legends management team, which includes chief executive Shervin Mirhashemi and chief operating officer Mike Tomon, are set to remain in place.

The deal is structured to support Legends’ long-term growth and global client relationships. It will also give the company the backing to become a bigger player in the stadium construction, merchandise sales, concessions and ticketing sectors.

Alan Waxman, co-founder and chief executive of Sixth Street, said: “Legends will continue to stay on offense with an industry-leading management team doing what it does best: delivering value-creating projects and operations, innovating new technology-enabled service offerings, and creating immersive customer experiences.”

“We love the energy, vision, and business-building experience that Sixth Street brings and how they plan to accelerate our long-term growth plans,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (pictured above).

Sixth Street, which reportedly has US$50 billion under management, was founded in 2009 as an arm of TPG, a private equity firm part-owned by David Bonderman, the majority shareholder in National Hockey League (NHL) expansion franchise the Seattle Kraken.

Sixth Street was spun off of TPG in May last year and immediately began raising money for its flagship TAO fund. By August, according to the Wall Street Journal, it had already accrued US$10 billion.

According to Sportico, Sixth Street sees Legends as capable of producing at least a 13 per cent internal rate of return annually and values the company as a long-term investment, beyond the life of a normal five to ten-year private equity deal.

In Europe, Legends’ most high-profile project is its partnership with Real Madrid covering the renovation of the Spanish soccer giants’ Bernabeu Stadium and retail operation.

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