F1: American firm nears deal to buy into Alpine team

Already a partner in Fenway Sports Group, several European soccer teams, and the XFL, American Private Investment Firm RedBird Capital Partners is reportedly nearing a deal to expand its sports empire even further.

The New York-based private investment firm is in talks with Renault SA for a minority investment in Renault’s Alpine Formula 1 team, according to Bloomberg.

The deal would see RedBird acquire a minority stake in Alpine’s U.K. operations and aid in key revenue-generating activities, such as media rights and sponsorship sales, during a boom period for F1.

Gerry Cardinale is the Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of RedBird.

Financial terms of the potential agreement were not disclosed, but F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said last week that F1 team owners have been turning down investment and buyout offers worth “almost billions.”

An enforced scarcity is a key element of the investor interest. F1 has remained at 10 teams despite the property’s ongoing growth.

RedBird manages more than $8.6 billion in assets, and through its FSG equity has ownership stakes in the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, and Pittsburgh Penguins. It also led a $1.3 billion acquisition last year of Italy’s AC Milan and owns France’s Toulouse FC.

About Gerry Cardinale

RedBird manages $8.6 billion of equity on behalf of a select group of blue-chip institutional and family office investors.  The Firm’s prior and current investment portfolio includes many of the world’s most iconic entrepreneurs, properties and brands across the sports, media and entertainment industries – including Fenway Sports Group (Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, Pittsburgh Penguins, New England Sports Network); the Yankees Entertainment & Sports (“YES”) Network (New York Yankees and Amazon); Skydance Media (Larry and David Ellison); The Springhill Company (LeBron James and Maverick Carter); the XFL (Dwayne Johnson and his partner Dany Garcia); and European football’s A.C. Milan which recently won Italy’s Serie A Championship.

Since the Firm’s inception, RedBird has also been an active investor and company builder in Financial Services — a core competency of the Firm with a dedicated investment team that has invested over $1 billion across Insurance & Insurance Distribution, Asset & Wealth Management and Fintech & Insurtech.  Notable investments include Aquarian, a diversified life and annuity insurance carrier with over $7 billion of assets and an affiliated asset manager; and Constellation, a managing general agent insurance distribution platform that RedBird scaled to a top 5 player in the industry in under two years before exiting to Truist in July 2021.

Prior to founding RedBird in 2014, Gerry spent 20 years at Goldman Sachs where he was a Partner of the firm and a senior leader of the Merchant Bank’s private equity investing business. During his tenure, Gerry worked with entrepreneurs and family business owners to build several successful multi-billion-dollar companies, including the Yankees Entertainment & Sports (“YES”) Network, Legends Hospitality, and Suddenlink Communications.

In addition to his broad responsibilities as Chief Investment Officer, Gerry is actively engaged in company-building activities across the Firm’s portfolio in its core industries of Sports, Media & Entertainment and Financial Services.  He is also active in driving RedBird’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion within the Firm as well as within the investment portfolio.  Accordingly, 50% of the Firm’s investment professionals and 30% of CEOs in its most recent fund are either female or diverse.

Philanthropically, Gerry is a Trustee of the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City and leads one of the multi-state Selection Committees that awards Rhodes Scholarships each year.  Gerry received an Honors BA from Harvard University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and an M.Phil in Politics and Political Theory from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

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