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H.I.G Capital Now Sole Owner Of Sportfive

P
rivate equity firm H.I.G Capital is now the sole owner of the international sports marketing agency Sportfive after acquiring French media giant Lagardère’s minority stake of 24.9%.

Lagardère Sports and Entertainment Agency rebranded to Sportfive in May 2020.

In a company statement, Sportfive confirmed they would serve as the agency’s new brand and back the company by incorporating several subsidiaries, including Lagardère Sports, Lagardère PLUS, U!, and VIP Sportsatravel.

H.I.G Capital took an initial 75.1% stake in Lagardère Sports and Entertainment back in April 2020.

More than a year since the return of Sportfive to the international agency business, H.I.G Capital has taken on 100% ownership of the agency.

Lagardère acquired Sportfive, which was formed in 2001 for EUR€865 million (approx. AUD$1.4 billion) in 2006 and mainly specialised in European media rights and sponsorship sales.

Sportfive’s CEO, Stefan Felsing, said: “I am delighted that we are able to complete the transition.

“It is our ambition to further develop and grow Sportfive fully backed by H.I.G Capital who support our endeavours,” Felsing said.

The ownership comes after a report last week by French newspaper Le Monde, which said a judicial investigation into Lagardère was underway to look into potential infractions, including false accounting and vote-buying. Lagardère has denied any wrongdoing.

After announcing the deal, Sportfive said it positions the agency ‘as one of the global leaders in sports business and sports marketing’ and ‘sends a strong signal into the market.’