Sources: Man City owners plotting exit after director resigns
China Media Capital Football Holdings is planning to withdraw entirely from Man City parent company City Football Group, sources have told Football Insider.
The media and entertainment conglomerate, which is commonly known as CMC, bought a 13 per cent stake in the multi-club empire in 2015.
But they sold 4.2 per cent to Silver Lake Capital in October and are now the most junior partner in the organisation – Abu Dhabi United Group owns 77.22 per cent, Silver Lake 14.54 per cent, and CMC 8.24 per cent.
And CMC now have no representation at board level after Ruigang Li, the company’s founding chairman, stepped down as a director on Monday (21 November).
City Football Group acquired stakes in eight new clubs during Li’s time as a director, taking the total number of teams under their control to 11.
A deal is all but done for historic Brazilian side Bahia to become the 12th club in their portfolio.
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But Li is an associate of the Chinese Communist Party, whose directive to businesses in recent years has been to divest in overseas football projects.
And a source with knowledge of City Football Group’s internal operations has told Football Insider CMC are now exploring opportunities to offload their remaining equity.
It is, however, understood that CMC accept that a total withdrawal will take some time as there is a limited pool of investors with the resources and know-how to take on their shares.
The obvious succession plan is for Silver Lake, the American investment firm with an estimated £73billion worth of assets under their control, to again buy from CMC to up their stake.
But Silver Lake have already spent an estimated £600m on shares in the organisation and the sums of money involved in acquiring another 8.24 per cent mean that a number of hurdles must be jumped before any deal can be struck.