Soros Buys Big Chunk Of Legendary Soccer Club

Aug 21 2012 | 10:19am ET

The latest hedge fund honcho to get into the business of sports-team ownership is none other than George Soros.

Soros Fund Management has amassed a nearly 8% stake in British soccer team Manchester United Football Club. The 19-time English league champions went public in New York earlier this month, raising $233.3 million.

Unlike his counterparts—including the owners of the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, Tampa Bay Lightning, AS Roma and the Los Angeles Dodgers, to name a few—Soros' investment is unlikely to be panned as mere vanity. Indeed, the 82-year-old, who returned his firm's outside capital to investors, won't have much if anything to do with the management of Man U., since its principal owners, the Glazer family, retain 99% of the voting rights for the team.

All the same, it is not Soros' first foray into sports. He was a minority partner in a group that unsuccessfully sought to buy baseball's Washington Nationals seven years ago, and backed Major League Soccer's D.C. United.

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