Fidelity Said to Be in Talks to Back Sports Retailer Fanatics

Fidelity Investments is in talks to invest in Fanatics Inc. in deal that could raise $350 million for the sports merchandise retailer, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The funding round is slated to value the company at significantly more than the $4.5 billion it was worth in its last funding round in 2017, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Joshua Kushner’s Thrive Capital is also in talks to invest in the round, some of the people said. The fundraising hasn’t been finalized and the terms and investor lineup may change, one of the people said.

Representatives of Fidelity and Fanatics declined to comment. A representative for Thrive didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

Jacksonville, Florida-based Fanatics is backed by investors including SoftBank Group Corp., which made a roughly $1 billion bet on the company in 2017. Other investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Insight Partners, Silver Lake, Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Fanatics, led by Chief Executive Officer Doug Mack, last fall named former Nike Inc. executive Michener Chandlee as chief financial officer.

The company sells licensed merchandise for various sports teams and leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the National Football League.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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