BlackRock takes huge stake in parent of Sports Illustrated

BlackRock becomes Authentic Brands' largest shareholder with $875 million stake

BlackRock becomes Authentic Brands' largest shareholder with $875 million stake

Authentic Brands, based in 2010, develops and markets manufacturers in sectors including entertainment, fashion, and lifestyle.

BlackRock Inc.'s new private equity fund Long Term Private Capital (LTPC) has completed its maiden investment, taking up a US$875-million stake in Authentic Brands Group LLC, making it the largest investor in the USA -based entertainment and branding company, the fund said on Sunday.

The fund and affiliated entities invested US$875 million, said Andre Bourbonnais, head of Long-Term Private Capital.

Its portfolio of more than 50 brands includes Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O'Neal, active-wear maker Spyder and leather-goods provider Frye Co.

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The deal announced on Sunday, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal here, values Authentic Brands Group at more than $4 billion including debt, the Journal said, citing unnamed sources.

With the acquisition, BlackRock becomes Authentic's largest shareholder, replacing the private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners.

FBN's Cheryl Casone on Meredith Corporation selling the intellectual property of the Sports Illustrated brand to Authentic Brands Group. Authentic then acquired the skating and snowboarding label Volcom from French luxury group Kering SA this April.

Authentic management including CEO Jamie Salter will continue to own a significant stake, according to the report.

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