Business

Man City owners plotting exit as director resigns

China Media Capital Football Holdings plans to completely withdraw from parent company City Football Group, Sources told Football Insider.

The media and entertainment group, known as CMC, bought a 13 percent stake in the multi-club empire in 2015.

But they sold 4.2 percent to Silver Lake Capital in October and are now the junior partner in the organization – Abu Dhabi United Group owns 77.22 percent, Silver Lake 14.54 percent and CMC 8.24 percent.

CMC now has no board-level representation after Ruigang Li, the company’s founding chairman, stepped down as director on Monday (November 21).

City Football Group acquired stakes in eight new clubs during Li’s tenure as manager, bringing the total number of teams under its control to 11.

A deal has been reached with historic Brazilian side Bahia to become the 12th club in its portfolio.

But Li is a member of the Chinese Communist Party, and his directive to companies in recent years has been to sell off their investment in overseas soccer projects.

said a source familiar with the internal operations of the City Football Group Football from the inside CMC is now exploring opportunities to dispose of the remaining equity.

However, it is understood that CMC accepts that a full withdrawal will take some time since there is a limited group of investors with the resources and knowledge to acquire their shares.

The obvious succession plan is for Silver Lake, the US investment firm with an estimated £73 billion in assets under its control, to buy back from CMC to increase its stake.

But Silver Lake has already spent an estimated £600m on shares in the organisation, and the money involved in acquiring another 8.24 per cent means a number of hurdles must be cleared before any deal can be struck.

In other news, the pundit notes that Manchester City has succumbed to player pressure after the source revealed his switch.

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