Canada Pension Plan Investment Board bets on Sportradar

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board bets on Sportradar

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has teamed up with Silicon Valley-based growth equity firm TCV to acquire a 39 percent stake in Swiss-based sports data firm Sportradar.

Sportradar announced that CPPIB, through its wholly-owned subsidiary CPP Investment Board Europe, planned to gobble up a minority stake valued at €2.1 billion ($2.4 billion) in Sportradar. It was estimated that CPPIB’s stake in the company would be around 40 percent or a total of $713 million.

The shares that CPPIB planned to purchase belonged to private equity firm EQT and certain minority shareholders, according to Sportradar. EQT said it is planning to reinvest a portion of its sale proceeds into Sportradar.

According to their timeline, the parties expect to close the transactions in the fourth quarter of 2018. Sportradar founder and CEO Carsten Koerl will retain his entire ownership position despite the entry of CPPIB and TCV in the company.

“Having two new investors with a strong North American footprint is ideal given our increasing focus and expanding operations in the U.S., as the sports industry evolves to meet the expectations of today’s sports fans,” Koerl said in a statement.

CPPIB Managing Director and Head of Direct Private Equity Ryan Selwood is convinced that they have made a good decision by investing in Sportradar, which has seen strong growth over the past years.

“The sports data market, particularly real-time data, is a compelling long-term investment opportunity, with strong growth driven by rising fan engagement, opening of new markets and increasing spend on digital sports content globally,” Selwood said.

Sportradar is known for tracking more than 400,000 live sporting events per year and providing solutions and services to media companies, bookmakers, sports federations and state authorities. The organization employs over 2,000 people in more than 30 locations around the world.

Some of its minority shareholders include former NBA great Michael Jordan, Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.