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Gerry Cardinale explains why Billy Beane Liverpool investment deal didn't happen for FSG

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The summer of 2020 saw a number of special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) pop up, with one of the first being that of RedBall Acquisition Corp, a sports-specific SPAC that was fronted by RedBird founder and managing partner Gerry Cardinale and baseball analytics guru Billy Beane, a man whose approach to statistical analysis provided the storyline to the Hollywood film 'Moneyball', with Brad Pitt playing the role of Beane.

Before RedBird Capital Partners completed their $750m deal to take an 11 per cent stake in Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group back in March there was another deal that had been bubbling away in the background.

The relationship between the two parties remained strong with Cardinale still keeping his hand in with talks over a possible private investment in FSG through Redbird going, a deal for $750m for 11 per cent of FSG struck in March of this year.

And Cardinale has explained why the SPAC deal with FSG fell away and why, instead, the decision was taken to use RedBird as the vehicle through which to invest in Liverpool and the other associated FSG businesses.

"The reality is that the SPAC phenomenon really started to take over, and the SPAC phenomenon is not right for sports right now.

They were unsuccessful in getting that done with institutional investors unable to reach a consensus over the valuation placed upon FSG and it was decided that the best course of action was to separate at that stage.

The initial idea that had been presented, although never formally acknowledged publicly by either side, was that RedBall wanted to take between a 20 and 25 per cent stake in FSG and take the company public on the New York Stock Exchange.
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