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Nick Clarry, a Big Bettor on Pro Sports

CVC has invested more than $3 billion in top sports leagues this year as it looks to profit from demand for streaming content.
Nick Clarry

Nick Clarry

Courtesy CVC
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Sports teams can be volatile investments because their financial performance is often tied to on-field success. But leagues and tournaments benefit from the rising value of media rights regardless of any club’s win-loss record. Few have understood this better in recent years than Clarry.

A former dealmaker at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, Clarry helped his private equity company acquire Formula One racing in 2006 for $2 billion, a move that produced a 500% return in the ensuing decade. He’s followed that up this year with a €2.1 billion ($2.4 billion) investment in La Liga, Spain’s top soccer league; a £365 million ($490 million) stake in rugby’s Six Nations, the annual tournament between the top national teams in Europe; and a £219 million deal with the International Volleyball Federation, the sport’s governing body. Clarry is also negotiating a €1.7 billion stake in Italy’s Serie A soccer league and a $600 million cash injection into the governing bodies of tennis.