The Premier League outfit, Southampton FC have started a new era as the club announced that the London-based firm, Sport Republic has acquired an 80% controlling stake of the Saints. Dragan Solak is now the new owner of the club as he bought the 80% share from the Chinese businessman Gao Jisheng in a reported £100 million deal.
Gao Jisheng owned the controlling stake of the Saints since 2017 but he recently wanted to sell his share and has finally got the deal signed. Dragan Solak will now be enjoying control over Southampton with his fellow partners Henrik Kraft and Rasmus Ankersen who founded Sport Republic. Apart from them, Katharina Liebherr will continue to hold the 20% minority share at the club.
Speaking on the occasion, the lead investor of Sport Republic, Dragan Šolak, said: “My partners and I have experience in long-term investments in the sports and entertainment industry and Sport Republic has been founded to combine this expertise and deliver something unique to the market. Southampton has so many of the qualities we have been looking for in a major sports organisation. It has a great management team, excellent talent development, talented teams playing attractive football and a dedicated fan base. We are delighted to be able to complete this acquisition as a first step towards execution of our investment strategy. Southampton will be a cornerstone of the organisation we plan to build.”
Sport Republic is a London-based firm that invests in the sports and entertainment industry. The firm was founded by Henrik Kraft and Rasmus Ankersen and it is been backed by the lead investor Dragan Šolak. The company’s vision is to apply proprietary intelligence and data analytics to help sports businesses and sports technology companies reach their full potential.
On the field, Southampton will be facing Swansea City in the third round of the FA Cup on January 8. The Saints are currently sitting 14th in the Premier League table, collecting 21 points from their last 19 fixtures.