Sixth Street takes majority ownership of Legends

Food, beverage, merchandise retail and stadium operations giant, Legends, has today (Tuesday) confirmed it has signed an agreement for global investment firm Sixth Street to become its new majority owner.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but multiple reports state it values Legends at $1.35bn (£992.6m/€1.11bn). The Sportico website said Sixth Street will own 51% of Legends following the close of the transaction, which is expected in the first quarter of the year.

Sixth Street will lead the Legends partnership group alongside co-founders YGE Holdings, an affiliate of Major League Baseball (MLB) club the New York Yankees, and Jones Concessions, an affiliate of NFL American football team the Dallas Cowboys. The Yankees and Cowboys will reportedly split the remaining 49% stake.

“The Legends commitment to excellence, instilled from its inception, enabled it to grow a new category of holistic sports and entertainment services, and we are excited to be joining their culture of ‘winning together’,” said Alan Waxman, co-founder and CEO of Sixth Street.

“Legends will continue to stay on offense with an industry-leading management team doing what it does best: delivering value-creating projects and operations, innovating new technology-enabled service offerings, and creating immersive customer experiences.”

In March, the Yankees and Cowboys were reportedly assessing the sale of Legends, which they formed in 2008. In May 2017, New Mountain Capital acquired a minority stake in the New York-headquartered company. The investment fund reportedly secured about one-third of Legends with the deal said to have valued the company at more than $700m at the time.

New Mountain acquired the shareholding that was previously held by Goldman Sachs and then by the Checketts Partners Investment Fund. It will exit Legends as part of the Sixth Street deal.

Shervin Mirhashemi, president and CEO of Legends, said: “The desire to live, play, and experience has never been greater. Sixth Street’s transformational investment is going to help drive our next phase as the comprehensive partner of choice for the world’s leading sports and entertainment organisations.

“While this has been a challenging year for the sports and live entertainment industry, we passed the test and are now positioned for stronger, even more resilient growth due to our unmatched 360-degree platform across planning, sales, partnerships, hospitality, merchandise, and technology solutions.”