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Providence, Goldman part-exit Yankees sports network to News Corp

21 Nov 2012

Providence Equity Partners and Goldman Sachs could make a five times cash multiple through a part-exit of the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network after News Corp agreed to buy a 49 per cent stake in the company.

The deal values YES Network at about $3bn, according to Reuters, and will see both firms retain an interest in the businesses alongside fellow investor NJ Holdings.

YES Network is a 24-hour sports and entertainment television network that televises games played by the New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets and other professional and college sports teams.

News Corp’s Fox Sports Media Group currently operates 20 owned and operated regional sports networks in the US, covering more than 5,000 live events each year.

Providence and Goldman first invested in YES Network more than 10 years ago, and are understood to have tried to sell the business in 2007.

Both firms could cash out completely in three years if News Corp takes up its option to bring its ownership to 80 per cent, and are expected to make between 4.5 times and five times their money, according to Reuters.

Providence is expected to close its seventh buyout fund on about $5bn before the end of the year, having already gathered more than $4bn in May.

The firm was initially said to be targeting $8bn for the fund, but has revised its total down amid a volatile fundraising environment.

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