Bird & Bird's Media, Entertainment and Sports team advise Leeds United and ELEVEN SPORTS on strategic partnership deals

06-2018

International law firm Bird & Bird's Media, Entertainment and Sports team have advised Aser, a leading global investment company that focuses on the sports and media sectors, on two important strategic partnerships. The first partnership was related to Leeds United Football Club and was with 49ers Enterprises, an investment entity affiliated with the San Francisco 49ers, and the second was related to ELEVEN SPORTS Poland (ELEVEN Poland) and was with Telewizja Polsat (Polsat), a leading commercial broadcaster in Poland.

Leeds United

Bird & Bird advised on the investment in Leeds United by 49ers Enterprises. The partnership will see 49ers Enterprises become a minority investor in Leeds United, strengthening the commercial, operational and sporting capabilities of the Club. The partnership is part of a wider business alliance between Aser and 49ers Enterprises.

The Bird & Bird team was led by Commercial partner Richard McMorris and Corporate partner Simon Fielder and was supported by Finance partner Samrad Nazer, Real Estate legal director Andrew Stobbart and Corporate associate Andrew Collins.

ELEVEN SPORTS Poland

The Leeds United deal was shortly followed by the announcement of the partnership between ELEVEN SPORTS (ELEVEN), a subsidiary of Aser, and Polsat. Bird & Bird advised ELEVEN, an award winning global sports provider and one of the fastest growing media companies, on the sale of a significant stake in ELEVEN Poland to Polsat, which sees Polsat become a strategic partner of ELEVEN in the Polish market.

The Bird & Bird team was led by Richard McMorris and supported by Simon Fielder, Tax partner Zoe Feller, IP associate James Pearson and Corporate associate Joseph Stolerman. The team also received support on the Polish aspects of the transaction from Corporate partner Rafal Dziedzic and Corporate associate Izabela Cybulska.

Simon Fielder, partner in the Corporate practice at Bird & Bird comments:  "We are delighted to have advised Aser on its strategic partnership with Polsat. This significant milestone enables ELEVEN SPORTS to consolidate its position as a market leader in Poland. We look forward to supporting ELEVEN SPORTS with its global strategy which includes expanding into 12 markets worldwide by January 2019."

"Both transactions exemplify the growing strength of Bird & Bird's corporate media practice. Many of the firm's media clients have very active M&A strategies. Our commercially focused approach when executing transactions comes from working in tandem with our industry leading media practice to ensure clients strategic objectives are always at the forefront of every transaction."

Richard McMorris, partner in the Media, Entertainment and Sports group at Bird & Bird says: "Aser has built a very strong sport and media portfolio in a very short space of time. We were delighted to advise them on its latest strategic steps. Both transactions form part of Aser's international expansion plans, something Bird & Bird is extremely well placed to assist with given our international footprint."