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Ipswich Town secures investment from U.S. Private Equity fund

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A further indication that American corporate capital is overtaking the oligarch-funded English football era is the announcement made by American private equity firm Bright Path Sports Partners that it has acquired a 40% share in promotion-challenging Championship club Ipswich Town. The Blues, who now sit third in the standings, are aiming to make their Premier League comeback for the first time since 2002.

Priced at “up to £105m,” the purchase would see ORG, the present dominant stakeholder, reduce its ownership from 90% to 50%. In April 2021, US investment fund ORG acquired the club from its previous owner, Marcus Evans, through a new business, Gamechanger 20 Ltd. Americans Brett Johnson, Berke Bakay, and Mark Detmer purchased a 5% share of the team through their Three Lions fund as part of the Gamechanger takeover; Evans retained a 5% ownership position.

Mark Ashton will continue in his role as CEO. The principal backer of Bright Path, Sam Simon, and co-founder Jake Zahnow will be named to the Ipswich Town board.

On the official Ipswich Town website, Mr. Ashton issued the following statement: “The investment will continue to support the club in both the medium and long term, with the biggest immediate use being to support a number of key infrastructure projects, including the significant redevelopment of the training ground at Playford Road.”

Despite barely earning promotion from League One the previous season, Ipswich has emerged as one of the major surprises in the Championship. With eight games remaining, they are currently one point behind Leicester City and Leeds United for the two automatic promotion spots to the Premiership.

After the international break, Ipswich Town will play two games in the coming weeks: an away game at Blackburn Rovers on March 29 and a home game against Southampton, another team vying for promotion, on Easter Monday.

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