28 January 2019

Burges Salmon Corporate partner Richard Spink and director Tim Roberts led the transaction, which saw media giant Discovery, Inc. acquire a 71 per cent controlling stake in Play Sports Group, the digital sports media company behind top cycling brands Global Cycling Network, Global Mountain Bike Network and Global Triathlon Network. Burges Salmon has worked with Play Sports since its inception and advised on the group’s initial fundraising and a subsequent investment in February 2017, as part of which Discovery, Inc acquired its original 20 per cent stake.

Bath-headquartered Play Sports Group is the world’s leading cyclist community, offering digital content such as training, tutorials and behind the scenes footage, as well as information on emerging cycling technology. It owns and operates eight YouTube channels which attract over 45 million monthly video views, with 5.7 million social followers and 3.1 million subscribers. During 2018, Play Sports Group launched five new international channels, a consumer retail division and fan club, and broadcasts live racing on its YouTube channels and via Facebook Watch.

Richard says: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Simon and his team on this transaction, in what is certainly a very exciting period of further growth for the business. In a very short time Simon has created a hugely successful digital sports media company and we have been delighted to have been able to play a small part in supporting him and the group in that."

Simon Wear, founder and CEO of Play Sports Group, says: “The team at Burges Salmon has consistently provided excellent advice and support across a range of legal matters throughout the development of Play Sports Group from the very beginning as a start-up, through two fundraise rounds and now culminating in this latest transaction. Once again, Richard and Tim have provided superb counsel on this transaction, ensuring that the right deal was obtained for shareholders and securing an ongoing partnership with Discovery that will deliver the next phase of growth for the business."

Key contact

Richard Spink

Richard Spink Partner

  • Head of Corporate and Financial Institutions
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Private Equity

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