Last month

LK sells 10% of Melbourne United to new owner for $4 million

The article is in The Australian but behind a paywall.

Can someone please post the article?

Many thanks

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Last month

So you are saying Melb United are worth 40 mill.... ploiseee!

Reply #938079 | Report this post

Last month

The investor is "Mr Empire"


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Last month

I'd be happy for him if true, all the more investment in the league.

Reply #938081 | Report this post

Last month

Kestelman retains a 15 per cent stake in United.

Purely because he likes messing with conspiracy theorists on the internet.

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Last month

First reaction: "April Fool's Day is in three weeks."

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Last month

National Basketball League owner Larry Kestelman sells share of Melbourne United for $4m

5:40PM MARCH 12, 2024

National Basketball League owner Larry Kestelman has sold a 10 per cent stake in Melbourne United, valuing the club at $40m.
The deal, to be revealed on Wednesday, is with Melbourne entrepreneur Aaron Sansoni. It is at least the highest yet for an NBL club and roughly in line with similar valuations for the Sydney Kings and Perth Wildcats clubs.

Sansoni, an entrepreneur with dozens of private equity investments in Australia and overseas and a fast-growing business mentoring arm, is buying 10 per cent of Melbourne United for $4m. The club was previously valued at $30m.

Other NBL investors include Robyn Denholm, the Tesla chair who part owns the Sydney Kings with colourful sports entrepreneur Paul Smith, and Craig Hutchison's ASX-listed Sports Entertainment Group that majority owns the Perth Wildcats.

Kestelman, a member of The List - Australia’s Richest 250 who has owned the NBL competition itself since 2015 when he made a $7m investment in what was then a struggling competition, maintains a 15 per cent stake in United for now.

He said the deal and its value was a testament to the NBL’s growing status as both a sporting competition and a legitimate commercial investment.

"We have credible people backing the league and backing the sport now," Mr Kestelman told The Australian. “Basketball is the second biggest sport in the world and we think we are the second-best basketball league in the world (behind the giant National Basketball Association in North America), so there’s definitely a good foundation there for growth.”

United will play the Illawarra Hawks on Wednesday evening in a sudden-death semi-final on the club’s home court, after finishing the regular season in first position on the ladder.

Mr Sansoni, who grew up in suburban Melbourne, said he wanted the deal to be a long-term investment.

“I’m a lover of the sport first and foremost. I grew up playing, and going to training camps as a kid. And if this was an opportunity in a sport that I was not familiar with and didn’t love, I wouldn’t invest in it,” he said.

“I met Larry a couple of years ago and we’ve been talking for a while. But see what he has done with the NBL since 2015 and taking my basketball fan off and looking at it from a business perspective, If you were a retailer or a software platform that has experienced the same growth in that time it would be incredible let alone a sport.”

Mr Sansoni said his business nous could help United strengthen relationships with fans and members and help make the match-day experience even better for crowds.

“We are effectively a seasonal business and I think there are off-season opportunities that we can build, using our culture and avid fanbase, looking at how we can add value for our members; not only what we sell them but also how we can reward them as well.”

Mr Kestelman said the NBL was now at about 86 per cent of stadium capacity across the league during the season and that television viewership on ESPN, Foxtel, Kayo and free-to-air on Network 10 was up about 30 per cent this year.

“We’ve had 16 per cent growth in crowds this year and as there’s less capacity as demand grows, then there are clearly opportunities for more revenue,” Mr Kestelman said.

“With that and growing distributions to clubs – and we’re committed to either distributing 25 per cent of our net media revenue or 25 per cent of our net profit, whichever is higher – then it becomes a better investment for our owners.”

Mr Kestelman is trying to find buyers for the Hobart-based Tasmania JackJumpers at a hoped-for valuation of about $30m and a substantial local ownership base. Talks are ongoing and the JackJumpers are playing Perth in the other sudden-death semi-final on Wednesday night.

He also said he would expect the NBL to have “two to three new clubs in the next five years” and was working on more commercial and sporting links with basketball leagues and clubs in Asia, including Japan and China.

Reply #938086 | Report this post

Last month

LK has done well- created so much buzz around the league that people are willing to buy based on over-valuations like this

2 to 3 new clubs within 5 years. There we go again. Please don't Larry! That would be hubris

Reply #938093 | Report this post

Q Anon  
Last month

"We have credible people backing the league and backing the sport now," Mr Kestelman told The Australian.

Jack Bendat , Kerry Stokes, Raphael Germinder and Paul Blackwell amongst others all say hi Larry

Reply #938094 | Report this post

Last month

If someone paid that much for a 10% in MU, they are either not very smart, or have a massive ego (or possibly both!).

Reply #938102 | Report this post

Last month

I'm really shocked these clubs are worth 40 million! Didn't SEN pay 10-12 million for Perth 2 years ago- so it's jump 4x?

There is no TV money or major sponsorship, so how can they be worth that much? I would like some facts pls to prove me wrong as I want the league to succeed but not with inflated valuations!

Reply #938110 | Report this post

Last month

In business the market drives the price, you want something, you pay market value. These owners are smart operators, they don't just chuck money away, no matter how much you got.

Reply #938114 | Report this post

Last month

" There is no TV money or major sponsorship"

There is though the NBL signed a roughly $45mil deal across 3 years and said it gives them the ability to give the clubs a little bit of it.

NBL has a suite of major sponsors and Melbourne United has a suite of major sponsors.

“ I would like some facts pls to prove me wrong as I want the league to succeed but not with inflated valuations!”

Someone spending $4mil for 10% is the fact that creates that valuation. The value of something is the value that the market is willing to pay.

You might be confusing the concepts of value and profitability - they rarely go hand-in-hand for sports clubs, especially NBL clubs.

Sport can be swings and roundabouts, I wouldn't hold much value, in valuations.

Reply #938115 | Report this post

Q Anon  
Last month

That News Corp deal was mostly contra

There are 2 game 3's tonight. So many storylines , particularly for Illawarra

The main sports stories on News is 4 x AFL 1 x Cricket

The sub stories are 2 AFL, 2 Soccer , 1 Boxing and 1 Cricket

Nothing on the NBL at all without having to dig for it. That says a lot.

Hutchy got a valuation on Perth somewhere in the 30m area as it was 1.5m for 4% of all the sports teams. Now LK gets 4m for 10%. As sceptical as you want to be the teams seem to be valued at at least 25m. Im doubtful that they pay for themselves and the owners would still need to be contributing to balance the books.

Reply #938117 | Report this post

Weedy Slug  
Last month

Wonder what the next tv deal looks like...

Reply #938118 | Report this post

Last month

News bulletins and news papers are for old people, it means nothing, younger generations are all internet.
Bunnings, hungry jacks, Mitsubishi, Kmart are big organisations sponsoring nbl.

Reply #938124 | Report this post

Last month

The Brisbane Broncos in the NRL which is arguably the richest NRL club in Aus is worth $94 mill (Market Cap).

The NRLs TV deal is worth multiple billion. The Broncos also get an average crowd size of around 30K a game.

The Broncos are also arguably the biggest sporting brand in QLD.

So Melbourne United are worth almost half the Broncos? LFMAO

Whoever bought that share got absolutely hosed.

Reply #938286 | Report this post

Last month

The Hawks have a US based oil family son (Jared Novelly) as owner and I think he's pumping a lot of money in and family are hugely rich. He's done really well with the Hawks and it will be interesting to see if he pumps more money again. Crowds were huge in numbers compared to past seasons but we still have no major sponsor.

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