Yao Capital Invests in GLORY
Equity firm Yao Capital has acquired a significant stake in the kickboxing company GLORY Kickboxing, per a press release from the organization. Yao Capital was founded in part by NBA Hall of Fame player Yao Ming.
The world’s biggest international cable company, Liberty Global, participated in the deal as well.
Yao Ming spoke for Yao Capital in regards to the sport of kickboxing and the impact that will be made by this new deal.
“To me, the sport of kickboxing is a synonym for courage, grit and the will to succeed,” said Yao Ming, Chairman and co-founder, Yao Capital. “As kickboxing is gaining worldwide popularity among the younger generation, Yao Capital is pleased to partner with GLORY, the world’s number one league in this field. Today, we join forces to promote the sport of kickboxing and encourage more young people to be involved in this sport to become the hero in their own life.”
Bruce Mann, the Chief Programming Officer for Liberty Global, spoke to the growth that will come in the coming years.
“GLORY is a great fit for Liberty Global’s content investment strategy. We find investing in up-and-coming sports both interesting and strategic. I believe Liberty Global’s support and operational leverage in combination with the arrival of Yao Capital as an investor positions GLORY extremely well to deliver on their vision.”
As part of the new deal, GLORY will expand its number of events to 18 in 2017, and a substantial push into the Southeast Asia and Latin America market is planned. Yao Capital is focusing a large percentage of money on a new joint venture in China, per the press release.
“We are delighted that Yao Capital has become a major strategic investor in GLORY," said Pierre Andurand, Chairman and co-founder of GLORY. "Yao Capital has a remarkable, successful team with deep experience in growing sports businesses. GLORY will benefit from their expertise and participation as we grow the league globally, and in particular in China where we see great potential and exciting fighters. Liberty Global adds unmatched knowledge and media resources to the ownership group.”