The Hundred is bought for £400m by private equity.

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By Creative Media News

Bridgepoint Group has approached the England and Wales Cricket Board with a bid to acquire 75% of the 100-ball format competition.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has received a £400 million private equity proposal that would require it to renounce controlling ownership of The Hundred to inject finances into the sport’s cash-strapped counties.

The governing body has received an offer from Bridgepoint Group, a London-listed buyout business, to acquire a controlling position in the game’s newest version.

This weekend, a source close to the ECB reported that Bridgepoint had suggested purchasing 75% of The Hundred, possibly pouring £300 million into English cricket.

The hundred is bought for £400m by private equity.
The hundred is bought for £400m by private equity.

Allan Leighton, a serial company chairman who has collaborated with Bridgepoint on a number of its ventures, reportedly collaborated with the company to prepare its proposed offer.

A bid was unlikely to succeed at this time, according to the source.

If the transaction moves forward, each of the 18 counties that form the domestic foundation of the sport would earn a sizeable payment at a time when many of them have seen their financial woes worsen in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

One source hailed Bridgepoint’s proposal as “game-changing” and predicted that it would receive overwhelming backing among county chairs.

The ECB’s response, on the other hand, is anticipated to be more reserved, with a new leadership team adopting a more cautious stance about handing over management of the sport’s newest revenue generator.

Private equity bid
The hundred is bought for £400m by private equity.

Richard Thompson, the former chairman of Surrey County Cricket Club, was recently appointed chairman of the ECB. He stated that he wants cricket to become “the most inclusive sport in the United Kingdom.”

He oversaw the appointment of his old county colleague Richard Gould as the new chief executive of the governing body.

During his time in Surrey, Mr. Gould, a former chief executive of Bristol City Football Club, was an ardent critic of The Hundred.

The women’s champions of the 100-ball format event in 2022 were the Oval Invincibles, situated at Surrey’s home field, while the men’s victors were the Trent Rockets.

According to the ECB, more than half a million fans attended women’s matches in this year’s championship, a record number.

In September, Sanjay Patel, managing director of The Hundred, stated, “It’s been fantastic to see more families, more children, and record attendance at this year’s games.

The Hundred is all about introducing more people to cricket, and it has once again succeeded in doing so this year.

Bridgepoint’s interest in acquiring The Hundred is intended to “turbocharge” investment in English cricket, particularly the development of the women’s game, according to a source familiar with the proposal.

The private equity group has a long history of investing in professional sports, having owned MotoGP and InFront, the media rights agency that facilitated the commercialization of the Winter Olympics, for many years.

More recently, it suggested a contract in which it would have invested in the Women’s Super League in football; however, an agreement was not reached.

Bridgepoint’s offer for The Hundred comes at a time when deep-pocketed Indian Premier League (IPL) clubs are preparing to acquire top English players, such as England test captain Ben Stokes and his predecessor Joe Root.

For many years, the county game’s finances have been precarious, and many are skeptical that 50-over cricket would exist in the long run.

England was awarded T20 World Champion earlier this month after defeating Pakistan in Melbourne, Australia.

The ECB and Bridgepoint both declined to comment.

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