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JPMorgan Establishes Specialised Sports Investment Banking Division

In a move to capitalise on the booming sports industry, JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) has launched a dedicated sports-focused investment banking team, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.

The newly formed "sports investment banking coverage group" will provide advisory and financing services for a range of activities including investments in sports franchises on a global scale.

Fred Turpin, the global head of media and communications investment banking, highlighted the growing significance of sports as an asset class in the memo, noting that top sports franchises in the U.S. and Europe are now valued at over $400 billion collectively.

Heading the new team are Eric Menell and Gian Piero Sammartano, who will report to Turpin. Sammartano will also maintain his reporting line to Burkhard Koep, the head of Telecoms and Media EMEA.

Despite a slowdown in global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) volumes, sports M&A activity remained robust last year, reaching $22.6 billion, according to a report by the Institute for Mergers, Acquisitions, and Alliances.

Deloitte, a consulting giant, anticipates that premium sports properties will continue to attract record valuations this year, driven by increasing interest from institutional investors in the sector.

JPMorgan's involvement in the sports industry includes advising on deals such as British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe's acquisition of a minority stake in Manchester United (MANU.N), as well as working with Formula One owner Liberty Media (FWONA.O) and sports entertainment group World Wrestling Entertainment in previous years.

The bank already has a strong presence in sports financing, having financed stadiums and arenas for numerous teams in major U.S. sports leagues and globally, including Real Madrid FC's iconic Santiago Bernabeu stadium.


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