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Alternative Market Briefing

Pac-12 Conference opens to private equity investment

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

The Pac-12 Conference, a group which runs sporting events for colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest is opening itself to partial investment from private equity, according to The Oregonian.

The goal of the proposal is to bail out the conference, which has had trouble keeping up with its peers in attendance and performance. According to the article, private investors would be able to take a ten percent stake in "Pac-12 NewCo", which equals out to approximately a $500 million investment.

With the investment, the conference hopes to increase distributions to its member schools, consolidate media rights and increase profitability.

Private equity firms have become increasingly interested in sports franchises over the years as they are often a source of consistent revenue and there are adjacent opportunities to be had in creating mixed development areas around arenas, or doing more with media and branding. However, college sports could prove more challenging given the variety of schools in a conference like Pac-12. Each school has its own fan base and its own athletic agenda.

Pac-12's current media rights expire in 2024. The conference currently pays out the least of all of the college sports conferences.......................

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