Morning Buzz

Source: Fanatics' latest funding round yields $320M

By Rick Ellington

Fanatics has raised $320M in its latest round of funding, according to a source, shooting the company’s valuation up to $12.8B. Silver Lake led this round of funding, which comes approximately just seven months after Fanatics closed a $350M Series E investment round. Fidelity, Neuberger Berman, Franklin Templeton, Blackstone, Thrive Capital and MLB -- all of which are current Fanatics investors -- also participated in this latest round of funding. Fanatics’ current valuation is more than double the $6.2B tag put on the company following the August funding round. The company has now raised a total of $1.8B from all funding rounds.

Fanatics has been busy since the funding round last summer. It acquired collegiate headwear manufacturer Top of the World in September before adding WinCraft, the industry’s largest hard goods licensee, in December. Fanatics also has partnered with private equity firm Hillhouse Capital to enter the China market for the first time. It also has benefitted from robust sales stemming from championship wins from the Buccaneers, Dodgers and Univ. of Alabama.

Fanatics is coming off a year that a source called the best year in company history. Despite that, this year already is on pace to outdo last year’s results, as its global e-commerce is up 30% year over year since January 1. Fanatics is on pace to do more than $3B in revenue in ’21.

Silver Lake has a history of investing in sports-related companies. In addition to Fanatics, it currently includes Endeavor, Learfield IMG College, the UFC, City Football Group, MSG Co. and Oak View Group among its investments.

It was expected the August finding round would be the last before Fanatics filed for an IPO, though it was reported then that an IPO timetable was unknown.

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