M&A in sports: On the fast track

Sports newsletter

The M&A sports market witnessed significant activity. In 2023, the M&A sports market achieved a record-breaking 285 deals, despite global economic challenges. This trend continued into 2024.

The sports industry has evolved into a promising investment opportunity on the back of advantageous market trends, such as heightened emphasis on health, technological advancements and digitization. We are witnessing a growing interest from both conglomerates seeking diversification and private equity funds aiming to expand their involvement in the sports sector. Based on favorable market trends and evident strong demand from potential buyers, we firmly believe that the sports sector is set for further growth in the forthcoming years. DERK VERHEUL, SPORTS SPECIALIST, OAKLINS

As mentioned in our sports newsletter, this can partly be explained by the significant interest private equity buyers show in the sports industry, accounting for 37% of all transactions. Moreover, we shed light on valuation of sports companies, that after a period of high market volatility in 2021 and 2022, remained relatively stable from the beginning of 2023 onwards. Sports brands (such as Nike and Adidas) currently valued at approximately 10.0x LTM EV/EBITDA and sports retailers (such as JD Sports and Frasers Group) at approximately 5.5x LTM EV/EBITDA.

Other features include an overview of recent relevant sports transactions and a case study on the acquisition of Kubus Sports by Transformation Capital.

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