MLS Union Add Private Equity Exec Richard Leibovitch To Ownership
N.Y.-based private equity exec Richard Leibovitch has acquired a minority stake in the Union. Leibovitch, who is the founder of Arel Capital, is acquiring a stake that was previously held by an existing minority owner who has been with the club since its inception, according to Union Chair & Owner Jay Sugarman, who declined to reveal the name of that now outgoing owner. Sugarman said that he was introduced to Leibovitch by sports investment bank Inner Circle Sports, which also served as the financial advisor to the club in the transaction. He added he is excited to add someone to the ownership group that “is very passionate and a believer the prospect for the Union to be something really special.” Also as part of the transaction, Rich Graham and the Graham family have increased their investment in the club, which includes a newly formed multiyear youth development commitment. Graham is the CEO of YSC Sports, a soccer and sports training facility in suburban Philadelphia. Sugarman said that with the transactions, Leibovitch and Graham are the second and third largest investors in the club, with both holding similar stakes. He added that while Graham is focused more on youth development, Leibovitch will be focused on the first team and help represent the Union at the league level, serving as an alternate governor on the MLS BOD. Sugarman declined to comment on Leibovitch’s investment nor the valuation at which the stake in the team was sold, only saying that it was a significant and sizable investment.