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If investment deal goes through, Fenway Sports Group’s top leadership would remain intact

The Red Sox' first game of 2021 is on April 1. No joke.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

A pending investment would raise the value of Fenway Sports Group to $7.35 billion, with more moves in the works that would allow it to expand its portfolio of major sports properties outside of baseball and soccer, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

FSG partners are studying details of an approximately $750 million private investment by RedBird Capital Partners. Ratification of the deal by the partners is still not certain and could take around a month.

As presented, the governance of FSG would remain unchanged, with principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, and president Michael Gordon maintaining their roles. (Henry also owns the Globe.)


The deal would likely create churn among the current list of 20 publicly known partners. Some are expected to sell their proportional interests, with others reinvesting in the belief that the $7.35 billion valuation could make their stakes more valuable.

The investment would not have a direct impact on the Red Sox, Liverpool, NESN, and Roush Fenway subsidiaries. Fenway Sports Management, FSG’s marketing arm that handles a portion of LeBron James’s off-court endeavors, is expected to be a primary beneficiary of the capital injection.

FSG has had other private investors and private investment vehicles approach it, but for now it is looking at a RedBird investment before others in part because the two companies share a desire to be active players at a moment of considerable consolidation in the sports industry.

FSG has been considering expanding into new leagues such as the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, and NWSL, and is also interested in acquiring another European soccer team as well as sports betting, esports, and data analytics companies.

The Gerry Cardinale-led RedBird firm has already begun its own ambitious sports investment operation with a broad array of companies. Along with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia, RedBird is behind the new XFL football league, expected to launch next year.


Last July, RedBird purchased an 85 percent stake in the French Toulouse soccer team, and last month it bought a reported 30-40 percent stake in the Wasserman Media Group, a sports marketing and talent agency ranked recently by Forbes as the second-largest sports agency with $5.7 billion in assets.

Cardinale sits on the board of YES, the Yankees’ television network that holds a RedBird investment, as well as Yankee Global Enterprises, the parent company of the Yankees.

Cardinale and Oakland A’s executive Billy Beane of “Moneyball” fame are behind the RedBall SPAC (special purpose acquisition company), which dallied with an FSG investment last fall that would have taken the company public, but that deal fell through.

Michael Silverman can be reached at michael.silverman@globe.com.