Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Qatar ‘closing in on major US sports investment’

Washington Wizards, basketball Creative Commons/All-Pro Reels
A Washington Wizards player shoots during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers
  • QIA interested in basketball and hockey team owner
  • NBA allows wealth funds to buy stakes of up to 20%
  • Basketball team valuations continue to rise sharply

Qatar is ready to take a shot at the $500 billion US sports market with a reported investment interest in Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is set to buy a 5 percent stake in Monumental, the parent company of basketball side Washington Wizards and the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals, according to a report from Sportico.

Monumental also owns the women’s NBA side Washington Mystics, Capital One Arena and the regional news network NBC Sports Washington.

The report said the deal would value the group at $4.05 billion.

Monumental declined to comment, while QIA did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

It was reported in February that the QIA and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala were interested in buying minority stakes in NBA teams.

The door to possible NBA ownership was opened towards the end of last year by the league’s board of governors, who decided to allow wealth funds to buy stakes of up to 20 percent.

Valuations for basketball teams have risen sharply recently. The NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury were sold earlier this year for $4 billion in total. Their previous owner Robert Sarver paid a then-record $401 million for them in 2004.

In 2019, the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets were sold to Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai for $2.35 billion, then a record for US professional sports.

Baseball and ice hockey have also loosened ownership rules in recent years. Major League Baseball and the NHL now allow private equity firms to take minority stakes.

“Appropriately targeted, negotiated and transacted investments are always possible,” Simon Chadwick, professor of sport and geopolitical economy at Skema Business School in Paris, said. 

“But as LIV Golf and Saudi Arabia have shown, these are sensitive times which many in the US are responding to in hostile terms. 

“Gulf investors currently need to be diplomatic, shrewd and patient in pursuing sports investment opportunities in the US.”

Latest articles

FILE PHOTO: United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Al Zeyoudi gestures during an interview with Reuters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Abdel Hadi Ramahi/File Photo

UAE and Kenya complete Cepa negotiations

The UAE and Kenya have completed negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Cepa) between the two countries. It is the 12th Cepa deal secured by the UAE and its third in Africa, after agreements were signed last year with Mauritius and the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville). “The UAE-Kenya Cepa will not only boost […]

Adnoc has bid for German polymer manufacturer Covestro but its offers €55 and €57 per share were rejected

Adnoc faces hurdles in completing ambitious European deals

Abu Dhabi state oil company Adnoc is facing challenges to a duo of major European deals it is trying to get over the finish line, according to media reports. Talks with Austrian energy group OMV have been put on hold to allow parties to navigate a series of disagreements, the Financial Times reported on Friday. […]

The 450 companies operating at Dubai Science Park include AstraZeneca, and the free zone plans to add 200,000 sq ft of lab and office space

Dubai Science Park reveals expansion plans

Dubai’s biotechnology free zone is adding 60 percent more offices, laboratories and warehouses over the next few years to cater for an influx of new companies, its senior vice-president told AGBI.  Dubai Science Park, part of Dubai-listed Tecom Group, is planning an expansion of 200,000 sq ft of additional storage and logistics facilities at the […]

A worker at a phosphate production plant in Metlaoui, Tunisia. Phosphate accounts for 15% of Tunisia's exports

Saudi Arabia loans $55m for Tunisian rail renewal

Saudi Arabia has signed a $55 million loan deal with Tunisia to finance the renewal of the North African country’s rail network.  The railway is used to transport phosphate, a sector that makes up around 4 percent of Tunisia’s GDP and 15 percent of the country’s exports. Tunisia plans to produce eight million tonnes by […]