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US investment firm buys stake in Melbourne Victory

US private equity fund 777 Partners took a stake in Australian football club Melbourne Victory Wednesday, adding to its burgeoning network of teams across Europe and South America.

The two sides described the agreement as “one of the biggest investment deals into a single sports team in Australian history”, without providing financial details or the size of the stake.

Miami-based 777 already owns or has stakes in Italian Serie B side Genoa, Brazilian club Vasco da Gama, Standard Liege in Belgium and France’s team Red Star FC.

It also has a significant minority holding in La Liga club Sevilla in Spain.

“Football is poised for tremendous growth in Australia, and on this basis, it is strategically important for our group to be here,” 777 founder and managing partner Josh Wander said in a statement.

“Melbourne Victory with its success on the pitch and passionate, loyal fan base, is the perfect club for us.”

The firm invests in six broad industries: insurance, consumer and commercial finance, litigation finance, direct lending, sports, media and entertainment, and aviation.

It describes itself as the fastest-growing multi-club network in the world.

Melbourne Victory said the partnership would allow the A-League side to “supercharge its growth trajectory”.

“Our vision is to lead, unite, connect and inspire Australians and we believe, now more than ever, that with the resources and strategic support that 777 Partners has to offer we will achieve just that,” said club chairman Anthony Di Pietro.

Founded in 2004, Victory have played in Australia’s domestic A-League since their inaugural season, winning four championships. 

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