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Yankees, Cowboys Sell One-Third of Legends to New Mountain

  • Deal said to value stadium company at more than $700 million
  • Legends sells suites, sponsorship, runs One World Observatory

New Mountain Capital has taken a minority stake in Legends Hospitality, the stadium-management company controlled by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys.

New Mountain will own about one-third of the company and the deal values Legends at more than $700 million, a person familiar with the agreement said. The companies didn’t disclose the terms publicly. “This partnership with New Mountain Capital is further validation of the strength of the business,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said.

Created in 2008, Legends will use the capital to make acquisitions and expand, according to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The investment, Jones said, “will play an important role in Legends continuing to set new expectations for its clients.”

The deal comes at a busy time for Legends, which is selling suites and sponsorship for the Las Vegas stadium that will house football’s Raiders and for the new Inglewood, California, facility being built for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers. The company is also seeking to expand its presence in college sports, and is among the finalists to handle sponsorship sales for the University of Notre Dame.

Legends began as partnership among the Yankees, Cowboys and Goldman Sachs. The deal was orchestrated by Yankees President Randy Levine and SMB Capital Chief Executive Officer Seth Bernstein, who will become chairman of Legends.

New Mountain manages about $15 billion in public and private assets, according to its website. Managing Director Joe Delgado said the firm has been seeking opportunities in sports and entertainment. “We’re excited to work with two of the most celebrated and successful franchises in sports,” he said.

The investment firm is buying the stake that was previously held by Goldman Sachs, then by Dave Checketts’ Checketts Partners Investment Fund. During Checketts’s tenure as CEO, Legends designed, built and now operates One World Observatory on the site of the World Trade Center.

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