Fund sponsor IMG is the world leader in managing the careers of star athletes and celebrities
SACRAMENTO, CA and NEW YORK, NY, April 30, 2001—The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and Sports Capital Partners L.P. today announced that CalPERS has committed to invest a total of $122 million in Sports Capital Partners, a private equity fund targeting investments in sports-, media-, leisure-, lifestyle- and entertainment-related businesses.
As part of its investment, CalPERS is acquiring the investment positions previously held by JP Morgan Chase Capital and is also committing additional capital. Following the CalPERS actions, Sports Capital Partners will reach $214 million in total capital commitments. Sports Capital Partners was established in March 1998 by IMG, the world's largest sports marketing and management firm; Sports Capital Chairman and CEO David Moross; and Chase Capital Partners.
Grove Street Advisors, based in Wellesley, Massachusetts, acted as advisor to CalPERS in this transaction.
Sports Capital Partners' investment strategy is backed by its strategic partner and sponsor IMG, which was founded by Mark McCormack in the early 1960s and is the world's premier sports management and marketing agency. Headquartered in Cleveland, IMG's management clients include Tiger Woods, the U.S. Olympic Committee, Vince Carter, Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Pete Sampras, Wimbledon, USTA, Arnold Palmer, Karrie Webb, Nancy Lopez, Tyra Banks, Liv Tyler, Gisele, Evander Holyfield, Jaromir Jagr, Wayne Gretzky, Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, Tara Lipinski, Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon, Brett Hull, Joe Montana, John Madden, Bob Costas, Michael Johnson, John McEnroe, Picabo Street, Charles Barkley, the Nobel Foundation, the GRAMMYS®, the Kennedy Space Center, the Smithsonian Institution, the WTA Tour, and the NCAA. IMG also owns, manages or sponsors more than 1,000 annual events including Wimbledon, the Rugby World Cup, the World Alpine Ski Championship, and Stars and Ice.
Mr. Moross of Sports Capital Partners said: "We welcome this opportunity to partner CalPERS and Grove Street Advisors as we enter an exciting new phase of our fund's growth and development. Sports Capital Partners was the first and is currently the leading private equity firm formed specifically to invest in sports-, media-, leisure- and lifestyle-related enterprises. Our strategic relationship with IMG gives us a unique ability to identify, successfully pursue and add significant value to investment opportunities in those categories. Now, with the addition of CalPERS to the Sports Capital Partners team, we are even better situated to achieve outstanding results for the benefit of our respective investors and other constituents."
"This is a good investment," said William D. Crist, President of CalPERS' Board of Administration. "The sports and entertainment businesses have experienced rapid growth in recent years, driven by strong consumer demand and demographic trends. They have been relatively insulated over time from economic cycles. We believe that this is an emerging area of the private equity market that has significant, largely untapped investment potential."
"The timing and cost of this investment are attractive," said Michael Flaherman, Chair of CalPERS Investment Committee. "We have analyzed the portfolio and believe that it will be a low-risk investment, particularly at the negotiated price."
Bob Kain, Senior Executive Vice President of IMG, said: "We are very pleased with the performance of Sports Capital Partners and its team, and very excited about CalPERS' decision to partner with us. The sports business as a distinct category of private equity investing is still at a very early stage of its development. As the first fund of its kind, Sports Capital Partners is in a unique position to be the leading fund in its field. The involvement of CalPERS is a major vote of confidence for the firm, and for the whole investment category."
Completion of this transaction is subject to the receipt of consents of Sports Capital Partners investors.
Sports Capital Partners has made six investments to date, totaling more than $60 million. They include investments in Skip Barber Racing School, Small World Media, Sports.com, SportsYA!, The Golf Warehouse, and Tickets.com. Sports Capital Partners' web site is located at www.sportscapital.com.
CalPERS is the nation's largest public pension fund with assets totaling more than $160 billion. The System provides retirement and health benefits to more than 1.2 million State and local public employees and their families. For further information on CalPERS, please visit the System's web site at www.calpers.ca.gov.
Brad Pacheco/Pat Macht
Office of Public Affairs
Sports Capital Partners L.P.
Roy Winnick/Mark Semer
Kekst and Company
212-521-4842 or 4802