Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), the sports investment group that currently owns French soccer giants Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has announced that US private equity firm Arctos Partners has purchased a minority shareholding in the club.
GlobalData understands that Arctos’ stake in the club, sitting at around 12.5%, is at such a level to ensure QSI maintains control over PSG, whilst still providing a capital injection to allow the club to expand and develop.
QSI confirmed that Arctos will not have any involvement in the on-field running of the club, which has secured nine Ligue 1 titles in the last 11 seasons.
Arctos will, however, provide insights into the way the club is run off the pitch, specifically regarding its goals of internationalization and expanding its global reach.
QSI chair Nasser Al-Khelaifi stated: “Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, Chairman of Qatar Sports Investments, said: “As a club and institution, we are entering the next exciting phase of PSG’s growth and development, both on and off the pitch – which is based on long-term ambitions and attaining excellence in everything we do.”
He continued: “Arctos is a fantastic partner to help us achieve our goals, bringing strategic expertise, ideas, and innovation to our business while providing investment and new relationships to support our footballing and sporting goals”
Arctos was one of several private equity firms vying for the chance to invest in PSG, in what was a competitive bidding process.
Since QSI purchased 100% of PSG in 2012 the group has never once diluted its stake in the club, however, members of the PSG hierarchy believe that outside investment is now necessary in order to ensure the club continues to grow in its target global markets – such as the US (specifically mentioned in QSI's announcement) and South Korea.
Speaking at a media session in London, UK, PSG chief revenue officer Marc Armstrong stated: “[The Arctos investment is] about taking the business to the next level and helping us in certain markets. We’re constantly finding new ways of innovating and bringing in revenues and growing the brand.”
Arctos has a strong presence and expertise in the North American market that PSG has targeted.
Armstrong stressed that despite the pending investment decision, QSI was not looking to fully divest its ownership of the club.
He added: “There was no interest in selling the club and the ownership is more committed than ever, you see that with the Poissy [training ground] investment and what we're prepared to spend on the stadium. I think it's just about bringing that business to the next level and certainly in key markets.”
Arctos has a number of high-profile sports investments spanning a number of different areas, most recently having taken a stake in Formula 1 motor racing team Aston Martin .