Matthew Wheeler Joins Sports Investment Partners

Fledgling investment fund and advisory firm Sports Investment Partners has been boosted by the recent addition of senior sports industry executive Matthew Wheeler to the partnership.  Following four years as Worldwide Managing Director of Octagon, Wheeler has spent the past eight years working closely with a number of private equity groups as an investor and adviser in the sports and media sector.

Wheeler joins existing partners Martin Broughton, Chairman of British Airways and former Chairman of Liverpool Football Club, Nic Couchman, Partner at sports business law firm Couchmans LLP and Michael Broughton,  formerly of Nolan Partners.

Sports Investment Partners is Europe and the UK’s first investment firm focused purely on driving investment in the sports industry. Taking an operating leverage or ‘smart money’ approach to investments the partners proactively seek business opportunities where they can leverage their combined experience and track record of success in sport and the wider commercial world to generate win-win scenarios for investors and investees alike.

Based in London the advisory arm of the firm also aims to offer high level consultancy to businesses in sport looking to import expertise from across the sector with insights into the political, commercial and sporting needs of the industry and its consumers.

Launched following the sale of Liverpool Football Club to NESV, by Sports Investment Partners Chair Martin Broughton, the group is now actively working to identify potential investments that provide tangible returns to investors, focussing on hidden yet sound opportunities across the sport sector and investing only where a material difference in performance can be attained.  Commenting on the new addition Martin Broughton said: “We are delighted to have a businessman of Matthew’s stature join the team and are excited about how this adds to our operating leverage philosophy.  Matthew’s experience in both running leading sports businesses and in putting together deals that add value to all parties will be invaluable as we continue to examine potential investments in the sport industry.”

Wheeler was Chief Executive of Alan Pascoe’s API Group in the 1990s before a four-year stint as the Worldwide Managing Director of Octagon until 2001.  In this time he sat on the board of both DC United and Major League Soccer in the US and Eintracht Frankfurt of the Bundesligia in Germany.  He developed a reputation for successfully building market leading sports agency propositions.
Since leaving Octagon he has been involved as chairman and shareholder often investing alongside private equity funds in the growth and sale of a number of sports and media businesses including Lighthouse Communications, Copyright Promotions Group and Benfield Sports International (BSI).  He has also advised a number of private equity investors in the sector including Advent International in its purchase of Sportfive and Bridgepoint Capital on its acquisition of Dorna (MotoGP). Wheeler also sits on the board of the Professional Cricketers Association as a non executive.

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