The states of Qatar and Abu Dhabi to buy minority stakes in NBA franchises 

The state-owned Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) fund and the UAE’s Mubadala Capital fund are both interested in buying minority stakes in National Basketball Association (NBA) franchises, according to Bloomberg reports. 

Representatives from both sovereign wealth funds are said to have indicated an interest in becoming minority owners of an NBA team. The search for the right investment opportunity is underway is reportedly underway, although interest is at a preliminary stage and there is no certainty over any deal just yet.

The NBA recently made the decision to allow sovereign wealth funds, endowments and pensions to buy passive stakes in franchises. Per league regulations, sovereign wealth funds can only acquire up to 20 per cent of a single franchise. After reports emerged of the decision, league spokesperson Mike Bass reiterated: “All such investments are subject to league review and NBA board approval.”

Bloomberg suggests that the New York Knicks could be a target, given the biggest equity shareholder in Madison Square Garden (MSG) Sports is the investment firm Silver Lake Management, which has a strong association with Abu Dhabi and is a co-owner of Premier League giants Manchester City. 

Earlier this month MSG Sports president David Hopkinson confirmed the company would consider minority stake offers in the Knicks.

Abu Dhabi also recently staged the Middle East’s first series of NBA preseason games, while Qatar has shown strong interest to invest in the biggest sports properties. Qatari investors are currently pursuing a takeover bid for Manchester United and Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) already owns French soccer giants Paris Saint-Germain. 

Source: ProSportMedia 

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