Via Financial Times

The private investment group Sixth Street Partners is nearing a deal to take a majority stake in Legends Hospitality, the sports and entertainment company co-owned by New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys, that would value the group at $1.35bn, according to people briefed on the discussions.

The deal, which could be announced as soon as Monday night, would give Sixth Street a majority ownership of the company, which offers services including stadium concessions, naming rights and merchandise sales for a variety of professional and college sports teams. Baseball team Yankees and American football’s Cowboys would continue their involvement in the company, the people said.

The transaction underscores the influx of private capital into the realm of professional sports during the pandemic, as leagues and teams look to shore up financing as they contend with depressed or nonexistent ticket sales and associated concessions.

News of the deal was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The Legends deal by Sixth Street Partners, which has more than $50bn in assets under management, is its latest investment into an industry hard-hit by pandemic restrictions. In April the firm joined Silver Lake in raising $1bn in debt and equity for Airbnb, the short-term accommodations platform. In addition to Legends’ businesses for sport franchises, whose clients include the University of Notre Dame and Spain’s Real Madrid, the company also provides sales and experience planning at attractions including London’s View from the Shard and the One World Observatory at New York’s World Trade Center.

Sports leagues across the US and around the world have been hamstrung by the surging Covid-19 pandemic, particularly Major League Baseball, which relied on ticket sales and stadium concessions for almost 40 per cent of its revenues in 2019.

At the same time, valuations of clubs have only accelerated over the past year. In October the hedge fund titan Steve Cohen bought baseball team New York Mets for more than $2.4bn, a North American record. Last month Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith finalised a purchase of basketball team Utah Jazz for more than $1.6bn, according to a person familiar with the deal, up from the $24m paid by the previous owners in the mid-1980s.

In recent months private capital has been undeterred by pandemic distress and encouraged by steady or increasing appreciation of sports assets, seeking investments in the industry in anticipation of an eventual return to normalcy. “People are going to want to go to sports events, they’re going to want to go to concerts — whether that’s six months from now or 12 months from now, it’s going to come back at some point,” said one of the people briefed on the Legends deal.


Via The Wall Street Journal

Investment firm Sixth Street Partners is nearing a deal to buy a majority stake in sports-and-entertainment events company Legends Hospitality LLC, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal, which could be announced Monday, is expected to value Legends at $1.3 billion including debt, the people said.

Founded in 2008 by a group that included the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys, Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees and the merchant bank of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., GS 1.29% Legends partners with top sports and entertainment brands to design, plan and manage special events and live experiences.

The company, which also has divisions that focus on sponsorships, merchandise and technology, counts Real Madrid, SoFi Stadium, the University of Notre Dame, the Los Angeles Clippers and Live Nation Entertainment Inc. among its partners.

Goldman sold its stake in 2012. The remaining owners sold a significant minority stake to private-equity firm New Mountain Capital in 2017 in a deal that valued the company at more than $700 million, according to PitchBook.

In the transaction being discussed, Sixth Street would primarily be buying the stake owned by New Mountain, with the Cowboys and Yankees remaining sizable owners of Legends, according to people familiar with the matter.

A former affiliate of private-equity firm TPG, Sixth Street has more than $50 billion in assets under management, including its open-ended flagship vehicle, which last year became one of the largest pools of private capital.

A deal for Legends would be Sixth Street’s latest bet on an industry hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. In April the firm partnered with private-equity firm Silver Lake to invest $1 billion in home-sharing company Airbnb Inc., which was being battered by a wave of pandemic-related cancellations. Warrants it received as part of the deal valued the company at $18 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Airbnb went public in December at a roughly $47 billion valuation, and it currently has a market capitalization of nearly $90 billion.


Legends (“Legends” or the “Company”) today announced that it signed an agreement to receive a majority investment from Sixth Street, a leading global investment firm. Sixth Street will lead the Legends partnership group alongside co-founders YGE Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of the New York Yankees, and Jones Concessions LP, an affiliate of the Dallas Cowboys. The new investment from Sixth Street will support the long-term growth of the Company’s global client relationships and further enhancements to its innovative 360-degree platform of premium experience offerings for the most iconic global brands in sports, entertainment, and attractions.

“The Legends commitment to excellence, instilled from its inception, enabled it to grow a new category of holistic sports and entertainment services, and we are excited to be joining their culture of ‘winning together’,” said Alan Waxman, Co-Founder and CEO of Sixth Street. “Legends will continue to stay on offense with an industry-leading management team doing what it does best: delivering value-creating projects and operations, innovating new technology-enabled service offerings, and creating immersive customer experiences.”

“We love the energy, vision, and business-building experience that Sixth Street brings and how they plan to accelerate our long-term growth plans,” said Jerry Jones. “Sixth Street’s culture focused on teamwork and creative solutions is a perfect fit as we continue to build on our strong foundation and set our sights on creating even more engaging experiences for customers.”

“Premier global brands in sports, entertainment, and attractions choose Legends because they recognize the unparalleled power of our integrated suite of services,” said Hal Steinbrenner. “Since its founding, Legends has benefited from a series of committed investment partners, each critical to a particular stage of development. We thank New Mountain Capital for its strategic support these past several years, and we look forward to embarking on this exciting new chapter with Sixth Street.”

“The desire to live, play, and experience has never been greater. Sixth Street’s transformational investment is going to help drive our next phase as the comprehensive partner of choice for the world’s leading sports and entertainment organizations,” said Shervin Mirhashemi, President and CEO of Legends. “While this has been a challenging year for the sports and live entertainment industry, we passed the test and are now positioned for stronger, even more resilient growth due to our unmatched 360-degree platform across planning, sales, partnerships, hospitality, merchandise, and technology solutions.”

Legends is partnered with many of the world’s most iconic sports, entertainment, and attractions brands, including the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Real Madrid CF, SoFi Stadium, University of Notre Dame, The Ohio State University, Manchester City FC, LA Clippers, One World Observatory, and Live Nation. Legends’ clients benefit from comprehensive services through the Company’s six global divisions, each of which provide award-winning, best-in-class leadership from conception to execution.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter. Additional terms were not disclosed.

Moelis & Company LLC acted as lead financial advisor, BofA Securities, Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC acted as financial advisors, and Herrick & Feinstein LLP acted as legal advisor to Legends. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as sole financial advisor and Ropes & Gray LLP acted as legal advisor to Sixth Street.  Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as legal advisor to certain members of the Legends partnership group.

About Legends

Founded in 2008, Legends is a premium experiences company with six divisions operating worldwide – Global Planning, Global Sales, Hospitality, Global Partnerships, Global Merchandise, and Global Technology Solutions – offering clients and partners a 360-degree service solution platform to elevate their brand and execute their vision. Currently, Legends works with marquee clients across business verticals including professional sports; collegiate; attractions; entertainment; and conventions and leisure. Legends is the industry leader in designing, planning, and realizing exceptional experiences in sports and entertainment. For more information, visit and follow Legends at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @TheLegendsWay.

About Sixth Street

Sixth Street is a global investment firm with over $50 billion in assets under management and committed capital. Sixth Street operates nine diversified, collaborative investment platforms: TAO, Growth, Specialty Lending, Fundamental Strategies, Infrastructure, Opportunities, Insurance, Agriculture, and Credit Market Strategies. Our long-term oriented, highly flexible capital base and “One Team” cultural philosophy allow us to invest thematically across sectors, geographies and asset classes. Founded in 2009, Sixth Street has more than 320 team members including over 145 investment professionals operating from nine locations around the world. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn.