(Reuters) – Boston Red Sox owner John Henry is in talks with RedBall Acquisition Corp to take his famed sports holding company Fenway Sports Group LLC public, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters late on Friday.
The deal being discussed would merge Fenway Sports Group with RedBall Acquisition Corp and will value the owner of the Liverpool Football Club at around $8 billion including debt, the source said, asking not to be identified.
The talks were reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal newspaper, which said the discussions are in the early stage and could still fall apart.
The newspaper also said RedBall, which raised $575 million in August to buy businesses in sports and sports-related media and data analytics, plans to raise an additional $1 billion to buy a stake in Fenway Sports Group that will not exceed 25%.
RedBall, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), is co-chaired by former Goldman Sachs banker Gerald Cardinale and baseball executive Billy Beane, who shot to fame with Michael Lewis’s book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.”
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)