MP & Silva targets global expansion after Chinese takeover

MP & Silva has today (Tuesday) confirmed that Shanghai Jin Xin, an investment fund created by Chinese financial services company Everbright and internet entertainment and technology provider Baofeng, will acquire a 65-per-cent stake in the agency.

Shanghai Jin Xin is a company that Baofeng and Everbright has established for the strategic partnership. MP & Silva said that all of its current shareholders will maintain a “significant role” in and investment of 35 per cent in the group after the transaction.

The deal is said to value MP & Silva at about $1bn (€884m). Reports of the agreement first emerged yesterday (Monday) after Baofeng earlier this month denied claims that it had acquired MP & Silva.

MP & Silva said that the partnership would provide it with additional financial resources to accelerate the growth of the business, both internationally and in the Chinese market. Additionally, MP & Silva said that it would have access to “new and exciting technology,” such as virtual reality and internet-based services.

Baofeng Technology will develop a ‘Sports Channel’ and multiple sports apps. The MP & Silva business will act as a platform to support Baofeng Sports Operations, an independent company that will cooperate closely with the agency.

Larry Feng, chief executive of Baofeng, said: “Baofeng is seeking to work with the best global sports players to enhance its service ecosystem. MP & Silva is a well-known player in the market and enjoys long-standing partnerships with some of the most important rights-holders and broadcasters and other content distributors.

“We are perfectly positioned to support the existing growth plans and help the management team achieve greater success. We are confident that, thanks to this partnership, MP & Silva will be able to strengthen its leadership position in the market and introduce new groundbreaking innovations.”

MP & Silva’s portfolio includes the international rights to Serie A, the top division of Italian football, which it is marketing for the period spanning 2015-16 to 2017-18.

The agency’s most recent deal came last week as it extended a worldwide rights distribution partnership with Lega Basket, the top division of club basketball in Italy. The renewed deal will run across the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.