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Bruin Sports Capital strikes deals for at least $600m in funding

George Pyne, founder and chief executive of Bruin Sports Capital, speaks at the Sports Decision Makers Summit in Miami on 7 May, 2019 (Melina Pardo)

Bruin Sports Capital has closed on a large-scale strategic partnership with CVC Capital Partners and The Jordan Company (TJC) that will see the two private equity firms make a combined investment of at least $600m (€528.4m) in the sports operating and holding company.

The New York-based TJC and the Luxembourg-based CVC through respective funds will each invest in Bruin and act as strategic partners in the company, providing a fresh infusion of capital for the company. TJC has an existing tie to Bruin as it replaced communications firm WPP as a shareholder last year and expanded upon that entity’s initial investment.

The new funds will be designed to help support an expansion for the four-year-old Bruin, which already counts digital media firm Deltatre, sports and entertainment marketing agency Engine Shop, design agency Soulsight, direct-to-consumer streaming outfit OverTier, and a joint venture with the National Football League in premium sports hospitality business On Location Experiences among its holdings.

“This begins the next chapter for Bruin, on an even bigger and more global scale,” said Bruin chief executive George Pyne.

The deals particularly seek to expand that international presence for Bruin, as CVC has an extensive European and Asian presence as part of its footprint, and TJC, which specializes in investing in midsize companies, also has a worldwide presence through its network of portfolio companies.

“Our extensive European network and deep experience in sports, media, and entertainment ideally complement Bruin’s impressive existing platform,” said Chris Stadler, CVC managing partner. 

The $600m, coincidentally, is roughly the same amount of money that rival outfit Endeavor wanted to get from its now-canceled initial public offering. Bruin’s OverTier recently won rights in certain international territories to support NFL Game Pass that were previously held by Endeavor Streaming.

The new deals also bring total capital investment in Bruin thus far to nearly $1 billion. Other Bruin investors include Rock Ventures, the holding company of investments for Dan Gilbert, owner of the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers, and NNS Group, the investment company led by Egyptian blliionaire Nassef Sawiris, among others.

“In a sector undergoing fundamental shifts to the way it does business, [Pyne] and the team have demonstrated a unique ability to uncover potential and turn it into significant value,” said Rich Caputo, chief executive partner for TJC.