Michael Dell Invests in Yankees' YES Network Buyback
(Bloomberg) -- Michael Dell’s family office, MSD Capital, is among the investors in the New York Yankees-led $3.5 billion effort to buy the YES Network, according to a person familiar with the deal.
The Yankees will have the biggest stake in the regional-sports network that carries the team’s games once the purchase from the Walt Disney Co. is complete, people familiar with the deal said earlier. Other backers include Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and RedBird Capital Partners, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
A spokesman for MSD declined to comment. Disney didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The network, which also broadcasts the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, is the prize in the collection of sports channels that Disney is selling as part of its agreement to acquire the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox Inc. in a $71 billion takeover. Fox obtained a majority stake in 2014, with the team retaining 20 percent.
A deal involving Amazon, which already streams the NFL’s Thursday Night Football, would give the Yankees a strategic partner that could offer their games direct to consumers. Sports leagues and networks are racing to offer so called over-the-top distribution that allows viewers to watch games on TV or mobile devices via the internet. Dell, the founder of Dell Technologies Inc., is worth $30.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Disney, the owner of ESPN, is selling Fox’s 22 regional-sports channels to satisfy regulators who said the deal would give the company too much power in the industry. Analysts initially valued the networks at $20 billion to $22 billion, though more recent projections put the total at closer to $10 billion, without YES.
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