City Football Group (CFG) has confirmed the acquisition of a majority share in its eighth football club - Mumbai City FC.
The Manchester City owners have taken a 65% share in the Indian Super League club, marking its first major move into the country. The remaining 35% is owned by actor and film producer, Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh.
CFG has also named its Senior Vice President of Partnerships, Damian Willoughby, as CEO of City Football Group India. He will be relocating from Singapore to Mumbai in the coming weeks.
Chairman of City Football Group Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “We believe that this investment will deliver transformative benefits to Mumbai City FC, to City Football Group and to Indian football as a whole. City Football Group is committed to the future of football in India and to the potential for Mumbai City FC within that future.
“We are very much looking forward to playing an active role in Mumbai City FC’s fan and local communities, and working with our co-owners to further develop the club as quickly as possible.”
Nita Ambani, Chair, Football Sports Development Ltd, the body established to operate the ISL, said: “It’s a landmark occasion that celebrates the remarkable rise of Indian football and brings to life our vision for the beautiful game in India.
“It is a great endorsement of the increasing appeal of Indian football and for all football fans in India, this is a moment to take pride in our football, our culture and the opportunity we present to the world in developing the sport. The power and potential of our youth makes India the most exciting global opportunity in the world today, in every field, and especially in sport.
“On behalf of all Indian football stakeholders, I welcome City Football Group and thank them for their interest and belief in Indian football. I am sure Mumbai City FC and Indian football will benefit greatly from this historic partnership.”
The news comes on the back of a significant $500m (£389m) investment into the group by private equity firm Silver Lake, whose Managing Director Egon Durban has also joined the CFG board. The 10% stake the US-based firm has taken in CFG put the group’s overall value at $4.8bn (£3.73bn).