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Report: Arctos ups MLB team minority stakes to six

Private equity firm adds Dodgers, Cubs, Giants, Padres and Astros to portfolio.

16 March 2022 Ed Dixon

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  • Arctos already has minority stake in Boston Red Sox owner FSG
  • MLB has allowed investment funds to acquire minority stakes in teams since 2019
  • League rules mean Arctos is free to invest in more franchises

Private equity firm Arctos Sport Partners has added to its sports portfolio by investing in multiple Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, according to Sportico.

The sports business outlet reports that Texas-based Arctos now holds stakes in the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox deal, which was made with the franchise’s parent company Fenway Sports Group (FSG) about two years ago, had previously been reported but it is the first time the other five have come to light.

It is unclear how much of each team Arctos has acquired, as well as how much the respective transactions are worth. At the time of writing, only the Giants had confirmed to Sportico that they had received investment from the firm.

A single private equity fund can own up to 15 per cent of an MLB team, which can only sell 30 per cent of its shares to institutional investors. Sportico adds that MLB has not placed a limit on the number of stakes in teams that can be owned by a single fund, meaning Arctos could add more franchises to its portfolio.

The deals would mean Arctos has stakes in some of MLB’s most valuable franchises. Sportico’s latest ranking puts the Red Sox second with a value of US$4.8 billion, followed by the Dodgers at US$4.62 billion, the Cubs at US$4.14 billion and the Giants at US$3.49 billion. The Astros are 11th in the standings at US$2.19 billion, while the Padres are 16th at US$1.76 billion.

Arctos’ investments would also be the most significant for MLB since it updated its bylaws in 2019 to allow investment funds to acquire minority stakes in multiple teams. The decision was a major shift from the league’s traditional ownership group, which has been populated by wealthy individuals and public companies – the only parties able to afford stakes in MLB franchises.

In addition to its various MLB investments, Arctos has minority stakes in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, as well as the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Tampa Bay Lightning and Minnesota Wild.

Arctos is also a limited partner of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Real Salt Lake and was part of the Premier Lacrosse League’s (PLL) funding round in June.

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