Alternative investment manager Ares Management has invested a further $75 million into Inter Miami, of North America’s Major League Soccer (MLS), following the recent arrival of Argentine superstar Lionel Messi.
The club said it will use the money to develop its proposed Miami Freedom Park stadium and fund other growth initiatives.
Ares has now invested a total of $225 million in Inter Miami since 2021.
The team, which is currently bottom of the 15-team MLS, has been boosted by the presence of Messi both on and off the pitch.
Since the 36-year-old’s debut, Inter Miami have won three consecutive games in the Leagues Cup, the annual competition featuring clubs from MLS and Mexico’s top-tier Liga MX, with Messi scoring five goals.
The club has also benefited commercially with sell-out crowds at their home games.
Messi's debut delivered the highest domestic single network viewing figure for a MLS side since 2004. The team’s 2-1 win over Mexico’s Cruz Azul, in which Messi scored a late winner, secured an average audience of 1.75 million on major Spanish-language network Univision.
In an interview with Bloomberg last month (July), Jorge Mas, the club’s managing owner, said its value could reach $1.5 billion within a year.
Jim Miller, Ares co-head of sports, media, and entertainment strategies, said: “We are excited to upsize our strategic investment in the club. Our work together and the progress made since our initial investment has only reinforced our confidence in Inter Miami’s bright future.”
Last September, Ares Management raised $3.7 billion in a fund for investment in sports leagues, sports teams and sports-related franchises, and media and entertainment companies.
The Sports, Media, and Entertainment Finance fund, Ares’ first focused on the sector, comprises equity commitments of nearly $2.2 billion, with “anticipated leverage and related transaction vehicles” expected to deliver a further $1.5 billion of capital.
As well as Inter Miami, Ares has investments in Spain’s Atletico Madrid and Eagle Football Holdings, which owns England’s Crystal Palace and Olympique Lyonnais in France.
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