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Leeds United sell minority stake to Ackerley Partners, club seeking more investors

Leeds United sell minority stake to Ackerley Partners, club seeking more investors

Leeds United owners 49ers Enterprise have sold a minority stake in the club to Seattle-based private equity firm Ackerley Partners, Bloomberg reports.

The holding company is owned by the Ackerley family and was formed after the $800 million sale of the Ackerly Group over 20 years ago.

Ackerly Partners have notable sports figures like former NFL player Cliff Avril and motorsport driver James Dayson among its investors. But the extent of their involvement in the club’s day-to-day operations remains unclear.

The specific details about the percentage sold or the value of the transaction have not been disclosed. 

However, Ackerley Partners expressed its commitment to providing strategic capital for the expansion of the football and commercial operations of the club. 

The move follows 49ers, who also own the San Francisco-based National Football League team, assuming complete control of Leeds in July

Despite the arrival of Ackerly Partners, 49ers are reportedly still seeking new investors, with a minority stake potentially available. Although reports hint at discussions with a mystery investor, there is no guarantee of a sale.

Leeds, who are currently sitting third in the Championship under Daniel Farke’s leadership, have emerged as an appealing prospect with potential financial rewards upon a return to the Premier League.

The top flight offers significant broadcast income, exceeding £100m-a-season per club, making Championship teams lucrative targets for takeover and investment.

Leeds are on course to secure Premier League promotion, with Farke’s side sitting eight points behind Leicester City and Ipswich Town.

They have shrugged off a shaky start to the season and are rapidly closing the gap to the top two after losing just one of their last seven Championship fixture.

Leeds’ 2-1 victory over Plymouth Argyle on the eve of the international break saw them hit the two-week hiatus on the back of a three-match winning streak.

They travel to relegation-threatened Rotherham United when club football resumes, hoping to extend their winning streak to four games on the bounce.

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