US investor Bright Path Sports pays £100m+ buy-in as Ipswich chase Premier League spot

April 2 – Championship leaders Ipswich Town Football Club have taken a £100 million+ investment from US-based private equity firm, Bright Path Sports Partners.

The investment, reportedly up to £105 million secures a stake of about 40% stake in the club, which described the new money as an “exciting step which will further secure the Club’s future”.

Bright Path Sports will be represented on the Ipswich board by co-founders Jake Zahnow and Phillip Ciano. Their investment is comprised of several limited partners, of which Sam Simon, the founder of Simon Group Holdings and Simon Sports, is the primary funder.

US investment fund ORG, who bought the club from Marcus Evans in April 2021 in a deal reportedly worth about £40 million, remains the club’s majority shareholder.

Ed Schwartz, co-founder and Principal of ORG, said: “When we purchased Ipswich Town in 2021, we did so with the initial aim of restoring the Club to the Championship and becoming competitive at this level, with the plan always including bringing a partner on board when the time was right.

“The Club’s progress means we feel that time is now and we are excited to welcome Bright Path Sports. Alongside the continued day-to-day leadership of Mark Ashton, who we are delighted has further committed his future to the Club, we look forward to Bright Path bringing significant value to Ipswich Town in the coming years.”

Ipswich have held an automatic promotion slot to the Premier League for most of the season, currently topping the table after an added time goal to secure a 2-1 win at the weekend over rivals Southampton and going a point ahead of Leeds and two ahead of Leicester City with six games to play.

Mark Ashton, Ipswich CEO, said: “We are excited to welcome Bright Path Sports on what is another landmark day in the Club’s history.

“This is a day that further secures the long-term future of the Football Club and gives us the means to move the Club forward as we benefit from the wide range of skills and experiences Bright Path’s investors will bring.

“The investment will continue to support the Club in both the medium and long term, with the biggest immediate use being to support a number of key infrastructure projects, including the significant redevelopment of the training ground at Playford Road.”

The acquisition potentially values Ipswich at more than £200 million. In comparison US investor Bill Foley bought Premier League Bournemouth last season for a reported £120 million when the club were on the verge of relegation.

Sam Simon, the lead investor in the Bright Path-Ipswich investment, said: “We are excited to be making this investment in a brilliant football club.

“We love the history, the potential for the future, the passionate fans and the management of the Club, who are amazing people. We invest in people and this is perfect for us.

“We believe in investing for the future in order to give the team and management the tools to do their jobs and we’re excited to be working together.”

Ipswich will look to stay at the top of the table with a win against local rivals Norwich on Tuesday night.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1718274792labto1718274792ofdlr1718274792owedi1718274792sni@g1718274792niwe.1718274792yrrah1718274792