Owners of English Premier League (EPL) champions Manchester City, City Football Group (CFG) – which is majority owned by Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan – has acquired a major stake in Indian Super League (ISL) side Mumbai City FC (MCFC).
Mumbai City, which is co-owned by Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor, has had the likes of Freddie Ljungberg, Nicolas Anelka and Diego Forlan as their marquee players in the past, and they are currently placed seventh in the 10-team ISL.
The deal is announced just a day after CFG agreed to sell a USD 500 million stake to US private equity firm Silver Lake, making it the world’s most valuable soccer group with a USD 4.8 billion price tag.
This was announced at a press conference by Nita Ambani, the founder and chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) and Reliance Foundation.
“Today we welcome a global football powerhouse to India, to Indian Super League and Indian football. I am delighted and proud to announce that the City Football Group has acquired a majority stake in Mumbai City FC,” said Ambani.
“For the first time ever, an European club will be acquiring majority stake in an Indian club,” added Ambani.
CFG will become the 65 per cent majority stakeholder of the club, alongside existing shareholders, actor Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh, who will keep the remaining 35 per cent.
The Premier League club also tweeted that CFG was delighted to welcome the Indian club to its “family of clubs”.
“City Football Group (CFG) has agreed a deal to acquire a majority stake in its eighth club, Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League, marking a major move into Indian football,” the group said in a statement.
Other clubs in the CFG stable include New York City, Melbourne City, Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan and Girona FC in Spain.